Israel Police recommended on Tuesday to indict former Labor MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer over suspicions of bribe-taking.
In the course of their investigation, police established evidentiary basis against Ben-Eliezer and ten others, including businessmen Avraham Nanikashvili and Jacky Ben-Zaken.
The former politician, who had to drop out of the race for president over the allegations, is suspected of taking bribes while Nanikashvili and Ben-Zaken are suspected of bribery.
Ben-Eliezer’s lawyers said that he rejects outright the recommendations of the police. “Ben-Eliezer has served the State of Israel with a sense of mission and loyalty for 60 years, and he is determined to fight for his reputation despite his complex medical condition.”
The investigation began several months ago following the decision of Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, and was conducted by police unit Lahav 433, led by Police chief Yohanan Danino and Head of Investigations and Intelligence Commander Manny Yitzhak. During the investigation, the police questioned dozens of individuals, conducted searches that included a safety deposit box owned by Ben-Eliezer in a Jerusalem bank. Police also carried out overseas investigation activities in coordination with United States law enforcement agencies.
According to suspicions, in 2006, when Ben-Eliezer served as National Infrastructure Minister and Industry, Trade and Labor Minister, he received large sums of money from associates in exchange for promoting their business interests.
Police also investigated Ben-Eliezer’s money laundering activities in the range of millions of shekels, allegedly hidden in relatives’ accounts.
Police suspect the money was used for, among other things, property assets and partly hidden in cash in a bank vault.
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