Justice Ministry: Former defense minister Ben-Eliezer to face criminal charges

By
October 27, 2015 20:45

The charges – which span 5 different cases - include bribery, money laundering, fraud, breach of trust, and tax crimes.

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Benjamin Ben-Eliezer

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Former defense minister Binyamin “Fuad” Ben-Eliezer will face charges in a series of cases against him, after Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein dismissed his attorneys’ objections in a pre-indictment hearing, the Justice Ministry announced on Tuesday.

The charges - which span five cases - include bribery, money laundering, fraud, breach of trust, and tax offenses. In a statement on Tuesday night, Ben-Eliezer’s attorneys said that they have full confidence in the courts, and that “despite the grave medical condition of Fuad, we will fight to clear his name.”

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In June, Weinstein had said he would likely file an indictment against Ben-Eliezer, 79, for the five charges, subject to a pre-indictment hearing, a last chance for Ben- Eliezer to convince him to drop the charges, which Ben-Eliezer has just lost.

In January, police said there was evidence, not only against Ben- Eliezer, but also a against number of other suspects in the case, including Jacky Ben-Zaken, businessman Avraham Nanikashvili and Ben-Eliezer’s former bureau chief Ayelet Azoulay.

The case against Ben-Eliezer deals with allegations from 2007 to 2013, including a period when he was national infrastructure minister. He allegedly accepted large bribes from a number of associates in order to advance their business interests.

Before the case against Ben-Eliezer broke in June 2014, he was expected to be a front-runner in the election that same month for the presidency.


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