Deputy Interior Min. in Corruption Investigation

Thirty senior figures, including two from Yisrael Beytenu, investigated as part of massive police crack down on high level corruption.

Uzi Baruch, Ari Yashar, | updated: 09:17

Faina Kirshenbaum
Faina Kirshenbaum
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Thirty senior figures, including Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirshenbaum (Yisrael Beytenu) and former Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov (Yisrael Beytenu), have been brought in for investigation for involvement in corruption.

A gag order was released on the case Wednesday morning, revealing that the suspects apparently illegally allocated budgets to NPOs and different sources, transferred funds to regional council organizations, and laundered money through "straw company" fronts.

Likewise the suspects are thought to have given bribes and benefits, as well as having appointed and advanced the interests of their associates. Searches were conducted on their homes and offices, and computers and documents were also seized as part of the investigation.

The female deputy minister is suspected of transferring bribes to NPOs, and as noted other suspects include a former minister, regional council heads, directors of governmental offices, heads of NPOs, senior figures in public corporations, and political activists.

Other senior figures are expected to be summoned to give testimony.

The investigation was coordinated from the beginning with the attorney general and police commissioner. It is being led by Head of Investigations and Intelligence Commander Manny Yitzhaki and the head of Lahav 433 commander Roni Ritman.

Depending on the development of the investigation, the suspects will be brought for a discussion on the extension of their detention on Wednesday afternoon at the Rishon Lezion Magistrates Court.

It remains unclear whether the investigation is related to the Lahav 433 investigation that has seen several mayors recently come under scrutiny.

Rahamim Malul, mayor of the city Rehovot to the south of Tel Aviv, was investigated under warning on Tuesday on suspicion of fraud and breach of trust.

Just last Monday, Ramat Gan Mayor Yisrael Zinger was sentenced to seven days of house arrest after being charged on suspicion of accepting bribes. The Magistrate's Court in Rishon Lezion also ordered that Zinger was prohibited from entering or coming close to the Municipality building in Ramat Gan for a period of 15 days. 

Zinger was arrested along with 30 other local municipality employees, as part of a year-long undercover police investigation and crackdown on corruption by Lahav 433.




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