Alan Dershowitz to lead David Appel defense

Dershowitz will hire top-tier Israeli lawyers to handle the case, but cannot appear in Israeli court.

Sources inform “Globes” that famous criminal lawyer Prof. Alan Dershowitz will lead the defense of David Appel.

Appel is accused of bribing senior public figures, mainly in the Israel Land Authority (ILA), and MKs. He is also accused of bribing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Minister of Industry Trade and Labor Ehud Olmert.

The indictment alleges that Appel bribed senior ILA and local authority officials to win land tenders and vacate and build projects, and bribed MKs to advance his interests.

In the Greek island affair, still under investigation, Appel is suspected of aiding Sharon and Olmert's primary election campaigns, in exchange for their hosting an event for senior Greek officials, in order to obtain their support for a major project Appel was planning. Appel is also suspected of paying Sharon's son, Gilad, $3 million as a consultant for the project, without Gilad providing any services whatsoever.

The indictment against Appel was handed down recently, and the trial is scheduled to begin soon. Meanwhile, the trial against Oded Tal, a former top ILA official suspected of receiving bribes from Appel, has begun.

Adv. Eldad Yaniv and Appel media consultant Tal Zilberstein initiated the idea of hiring Dershowitz to join the legal strategy team, which will handle the legal and PR aspects of Appel's trial.

Dershowitz accepted the job, after concluding that Appel had not found a top-tier attorney to agree to represent him, and because of the huge amount of wire-tapping in the case.

Dershowitz will stay in Israel for a few more days to personally recruit more top-tire attorneys to handle the case. Dershowitz cannot appear in court in Israel himself, because he lacks a license to work in Israel.

Published by Globes [online] - - on December 22, 2003

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