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Alleged crime boss to remain jailed

JERUSALEM, Sept. 23 (JTA) – Israel’s Supreme Court has ordered that an alleged member of a Russian organized crime ring remain in jail until the end of his trial. The court’s decision this week overturned a lower court ruling allowing Gregory Lerner to be placed under house arrest. The court made its decision because it believes that Lerner might try to flee the country. Lerner, who has been in custody since his arrest in May, faces charges of attempting to bribe senior Israeli political figures, including former Prime Minister Shimon Peres. He also has been charged with defrauding banks and corporations in Israel, Russia and Europe of some $100 million. Lerner, who is also known as Zvi Ben-Ari and who immigrated to Israel in 1989, was also investigated on suspicion of being involved in two murders committed in Russia. Israeli prosecutors did not file any charges in connection with the murders.

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