Police chief Danino says corruption probe against Yisrael Beytenu officials to expand

The comments came two days after four more suspects were arrested in the case, including the Afula Mayor and his deputy, and a senior aide to Likud Minister Yuval Steinitz.

January 14, 2015 14:59
2 minute read.
Yohanan Danino

Yohanan Danino. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid announced Wednesday that his party would soon present an aggressive package of legal reforms intended to fight corruption. The package will include transparency laws and increasing punitive measures.

“The Israeli leadership has been overtaken by special interest groups: representatives of the settlers, activists from the ultra-Orthodox parties, Likud and Labor central committee members, Yisrael Beytenu and Bayit Yehudi associates, the big unions and the various machers who prefer personal interest over the public interest,” Lapid said in a speech to the Organization of Internal Auditors Conference in Ramat Gan.

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Lapid claimed that Yesh Atid is the only party that is not beholden to anyone except the public.

“Yesh Atid is not part of the system,” he said. “We didn’t grow up in a party, we weren’t party apparatchiks for decades, we don’t have associates we need to look out for.

The only thing that concerns us is to fix the country.”

Meanwhile, the investigation of the ongoing “Yisrael Beytenu corruption case” is not over, and police will not stop until they reach all those responsible, Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino said Wednesday.

“This is an investigation that continues to expand, and we will not stop until we reach all of the suspects in the corruption, whoever they are,” Danino said at a conference in Haifa on Wednesday.

The comments came two days after four more suspects were arrested in the case, including the Afula mayor and his deputy and a senior aide to Likud minister Yuval Steinitz.

During his comments Danino also responded to harsh criticism leveled at police this week by former Supreme Court justice Dorit Beinisch, who took issue with the growing number of cases where suspects are held in custody until the end of their trial.

“I was shocked by the rise in the number of arrests until the end of proceedings, which the police reported on proudly,” Beinisch said, adding that an arrest until the end of proceedings is not an accomplishment and should not be considered part and parcel of rating the quality of police work.”

She said that in many of these cases, she saw people who were arrested for minor crimes that maybe didn’t even require arrest, who were then kept in jail and also indicted.

“Police have an itchy trigger finger when it comes to arrests,” she said.

Danino said Wednesday that police should be praised for the rising number of arrests until the end of legal procedures, showing that it “proves that police are focusing on arresting dangerous criminals.”

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