'Casino' MK Questioned Over Fight Over Taxes

MK Oren Hazan was questioned for five hours over allegations that he attacked Ariel city officials.

Moshe Cohen ,

MK Oren Hazan
MK Oren Hazan
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

MK Oren Hazan (Likud), affectionately known as the "Casino MK" over allegations that he ran such establishments in Bulgaria, was questioned for five hours at the Israel Police Lahav 443 (Major Crimes) unit, over charges that he attacked the director general of the city of Ariel last October. Police seek to charge Hazan with inappropriate behavior in a public place, and attacking a public official.

Hazan was not a member of the Knesset at the time of the attack, but he is now – and it was only by special permission of the Attorney General that police could question him Sunday, as Knesset members of immunity.

According to the complainants, Hazan, then a resident of Ariel, barged into the municipality building, complaining over some charges that he said were not correct. He had failed to pay the charges, and as a result the municipality requested and got a court order to freeze his bank account until he paid.

Hazan confronted the director general and the Mayor of Ariel, Eli Shviro, demanding that they unfreeze his account. Things heated up, and at least some blows were exchanged brtween Hazan and the director general. All three have filed complaints of violent actions against each other.

Speaking to business daily Globes, Shviro said that Hazan had insulted, cursed, and threatened him, and on that basis he complained to police. “He was quite straightforward in describing what he thought of me and what he would do to me. He also threatened one of my staff, who was apparently much angrier than I was. That exchange did not end in words.”

Hazan is one of the more "colorful" Knesset members. The Knesset's Ethics Committee decided last month that it could not  discuss complaints filed against Hazan alleging that he had managed a casino in Bulgaria and that he arranged call girls for clients and used drugs.

The committee stated that the decision “does not detract from the severity with which its members see the deeds attributed to MK Hazan, to the extent that these did, in fact, take place...”