Shas chairman Aryeh Deri issued a statement to the Knesset Channel this morning in which he responded for the first time to his sentence and his resignation from the Knesset.
"I do not wish for anyone to go through the seven years I and my family went through. Remember the days of the affair exploding. At first there was an order with holding information from the public regarding a senior figure in the government with very serious accusations. An investigation was opened. And then, at my request, the publication was allowed stating that it was regarding Aryeh Deri," Deri began.
He added, "The charges thrown into the air were extremely serious - bribery, theft, fraud, conspiracy, breach of trust, money laundering, theft from nonprofits, etc. Against me, and even more painful, also against my wife and family. The leaks from the police left no room for doubt. Aryeh Deri - we caught him again. The headlines had already judged and convicted us. "
Deri said that one of the moments that broke him was the attack on his wife. "I saw my beautiful wife with tears in her eyes. It turns out that this righteous woman had taken it upon herself to fast that day and did not drink water until the night. She took me aside, crying and sobbing, 'Aryeh, you will not believe it, I was attacked today in the interrogation, that I, Yaffa Deri, stole money from nonprofits. I gave my life for them. I can not stand it.' I will never forget this experience. I am glad that after seven years my wife finally received a message yesterday that the suspicions against her have been shelved."
According to him, "if I had not been called Aryeh Makhlouf Deri, it would have ended in front of the Assessing Officer and without criminal proceedings."
The Shas chairman said that the heaviest punishment for him was the need to leave the Knesset. "Of all the punishments imposed on me, retiring from the Knesset is the worst. But I am not going anywhere. I will continue to manage public affairs from the Knesset or from anywhere."
When asked if he would continue to lead the party in the next election, he replied, "I will head the Shas party in the next election as well and run again for the Knesset. I do not see any deterrent or disgrace. "
When asked by Israel National News if anyone in the Ministry of Justice tried to create a case against him, he replied, "I do not blame anyone. There are suspicions and it is legitimate to investigate. But if you did not find anything it is only right to end the investigation. It is a mistake that a self-defending system must continue until there is an indictment. It is very important to me that the enforcement and justice system be strong in the State of Israel in order to restore public confidence in these systems."