Arab party officials arrested on corruption charge

Senior officials of Arab 'Balad' party suspected of criminal misuse of funds intended for party operations.

Shai Landesman ,

Balad MKs
Balad MKs
Flash 90

Police raided the Balad party headquarters together with several offices and houses belonging to senior party officials Sunday morning, this due to suspicions of corruption in the movement.

Balad is an Arab party now in the Knesset as part of the Joint Arab List. The movement is headed by MK Jamal Zahalka.

The police suspect that funds intended for party operation were used for a series of financial crimes.

Around 20 party activists were arrested in the raid, including lawyers and accountants who will be most probably brought to a hearing for remand in custody later today.

The investigation against senior Balad officials was initiated following the State Comptroller's report. The investigation was conducted by the Israel police together with the Money Laundering Prohibition Authority, with the Economic Department of the State Attorney's office joining in the investigation while it was in progress.

According to the suspicions, the source of funds acquired by the party was hidden and disguised while a series of crimes were committed using the funds. These include accepting assets under false pretenses, writing false information on documents, forgery, use of forged documents, and money laundering. The officials involved are also suspected of violating party finance and local municipality laws