Police announced on Tuesday that they have gathered enough evidence to allow the prosecution of former Labor MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer.
The investigation began several months following a decision by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein. Ben-Eliezer, along with several other people, is suspected of having committed offenses involving bribery, money laundering and breach of trust.
Police suspect that, beginning in 2006, during Ben-Eliezer’s tenure as Minister of Infrastructure, business people close to him gave him large sums of money in exchange for promoting their business interests.
As well, police also investigated suspected money laundering activities by Ben-Eliezer in the range of millions of shekels, allegedly hidden in relatives’ bank accounts.
Following the investigation, Lahav 433 Commander Roni Reitman and the investigative unit of the anti-fraud department concluded that there is sufficient evidence against Ben-Eliezer for taking bribes, money laundering, fraud, and tax-related offenses.
Ben-Eliezer's lawyers, attorneys Navot Tel Tzur and Tal Shapira, said on Wednesday that he rejects outright the police recommendations for an indictment.
"For 60 years, Ben-Eliezer has served the State of Israel loyally and with a sense of mission, and he is determined to fight for his reputation despite his complicated medical condition,” they said.
"We hope and believe that a thorough examination of the material by the prosecution will paint a very different picture," added the lawyers.
Ben-Eliezer recently resigned from the Knesset, citing ongoing health issues, and will not run in the March 17 elections.
Last year, Ben-Eliezer ran for the position of President, but dropped out of the race several days before the vote due to the corruption investigation.
He was previously involved in some controversy, when an investigative television report revealed that he had frequented “exclusive and discreet” casinos in London and did so up until 2002, when he was serving as a top government minister.
In May, Ben-Eliezer underwent a kidney transplant but resumed political activity immediately after the surgery, which he described as "routine and easy."