Report: Indictment likely against Shas chief Aryeh Deri

Report claims police plan to charge Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and his wife Yafa for tax offenses.

Tzvi Lev ,

Aryeh and Yafa Deri
Aryeh and Yafa Deri
Flash 90

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and his wife Yafa are likely to be indicted for tax offenses as part of a long-running investigation against them, Kan reported.

Police have been probing Deri and his wife for alleged money laundering, fraud, breach of trust, theft, fraudulent registration, numerous tax offenses, and corruption. The investigation is a combined effort of police, the tax authorities, and the Justice Ministry's anti-money laundering authority.

Suspicions were aroused in 2016, after reports surfaced of Deri owning multiple homes, which were left unreported to tax authorities, including a villa in Moshav Safsufa that is allegedly worth millions. In May, police detained 14 people for questioning in connection with the corruption investigation linked to the couple, including the Director-General of an unnamed government ministry.

In addition, police are also examining Deri's decision in May to extend the municipal borders in Telz Stone to include large amounts of farmland. Changing the land's status meant that it would have been rezoned for building housing units, causing its value to skyrocket. Police are investigating why the land was transferred, a decision that caused significant profits to its owners.

Deri has vigorously proclaimed his innocence. In September Deri tweeted that "I answered all the questions in great detail. With G-d's help, everything will be good" after sitting through a seven-hour grilling by police investigators, his fourth interrogation since the investigation commenced.

Deri, who was convicted in 1999 of bribery and fraud for crimes committed while serving as Interior Minister more than two decades ago, served 22 months in prison and was released in 2002. He returned to the Knesset in 2013 and led the Shas party in the 2015 elections.




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