Kristine L Ming

Public Security Minister Aharonovitch praises corruption probe involving members of his own party

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch on Wednesday praised police and the State Attorney’s Office for their handling of a corruption case involving MKs and officials from his party, Yisrael Beytenu.

Aharonovich’s office said that the minister, whose office is in charge of the police and other law enforcement bodies, was only updated about the year-long undercover investigation after the arrests were made last week. His office said  he has made a point not to be briefed on the details of the investigation, so as to avoid a conflict of interest.

Aharonovich’s support for the detectives and prosecutors investigating the case is contrary to that of his boss, Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman, who has said that he believes that the investigation and the arrests made last week were carried out for political reasons, in order to hurt Yisrael Beytenu ahead of the elections in March.

Dozens of suspects have been arrested or detained in the case, including former tourism minister Stas Misezhnikov, who has been accused of accepting and giving bribes. He was released on Wednesday to house arrest, and as of Wednesday afternoon police said only 11 of the 29 arrested or detained were still in custody.

The police case revolves around what they’ve described as a method hatched by Yisrael Beytenu MK Faina Kirschenbaum, party officials and other associates, in which state money would be sent to local authorities and nongovernmental organizations with a “commission” sent back to Kirschenbaum and her associates. In some of the cases police suspect that associates of the suspects were given jobs with the organizations as a kickback for sending the funds.

Article source: http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Public-Security-Minister-Aharonovitch-praises-corruption-probe-involving-members-of-his-own-party-386260

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