Deri grilled by police for eighth time

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri interrogated by police Thursday over a slew of allegations, including tax evasion and money laundering.

Tzvi Lev,

Aryeh Deri
Aryeh Deri
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Interior Minister and Shas head Aryeh Deri was interrogated by police at the Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit's headquarters in Lod for more than four hours on Thursday.

Sources afterward said that the grilling, which was Deri's eighth in a long-running joint investigation, is likely to be his last, as police move to wrap up the probe of the Shas chairman. Deri is suspected of money laundering, fraud, breach of trust, theft, fraudulent registration, and numerous tax offenses.

Deri released a statement after the interrogation proclaiming his innocence. "I have just completed another interrogation, and as usual, I answered all the questions I was asked," said Deri.

Authorities first opened an investigation 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.

The investigation is a combined effort of police, the tax authorities, and the Justice Ministry's anti-money laundering authority.

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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