Lahav 433
Lahav 433 Yossi Zelinger/Flash 90

The mayor of a city in central Israel, who was detained for questioning on Monday morning over suspected bribery and extortion, and other suspects in the affair, were released from custody under restrictive conditions on Monday evening.

The mayor was ordered to stay away from his office for two days.

The mayor and three of his associates were detained for questioning by the Lahav 433 unit of the Israel Police over suspected offenses of fraud and breach of trust, extortion, abuse of office, bribery and conspiracy to commit a crime.

The investigation was opened about a year ago following a complaint that was received by the police, and which said the mayor demanded that his opponents be fired or removed from their roles and conditioned the transfer of budgets to institutions on behalf of the local authority on their removal.

The mayor's three associates are suspected of having acted on his orders to carry out his wish. The suspicion against them relates to offenses of fraud and breach of trust, extortion by threats, abuse of office, bribery and conspiracy to commit a crime.