Deri questioned a third time in graft probe

Shas chairman Deri continues to downplay the ongoing police investigation, saying that he is "100% confident" in himself despite the mounting allegations.

By
June 14, 2017 12:46
1 minute read.
Arye Deri

Arye Deri.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Police questioned Interior Minister Arye Deri for a third time on Wednesday in an ongoing investigation of alleged money laundering, fraud, breach of trust and tax offenses.

Deri and his wife, Yaffa, are suspected of funneling state and private funds to his family through the NGO Mifalot Simha, which is headed by Yaffa.

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The minister is also suspected of committing tax offenses in connection with the sale of a Jerusalem apartment to his brother, attorney Shlomo Deri.

Police are also investigating how the Deri family funded a vacation villa in the Upper Galilee village of Kfar Hoshen, also known as Safsufa.

The minister arrived at the Lod offices of the Lahav 433 National Crime Unit without his wife on Wednesday morning for the questioning, which ended around 3:00 p.m.

Deri, who heads of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, has downplayed the investigation, telling Channel 10 in an interview earlier this month: “I am 100% confident in myself, thank God.”

Police have been investigating the case since April 2016 and announced the investigation at the end of May, when they detained 14 people and questioned the couple for more than 11 hours. The two were questioned a second time for some six hours on June 5.

The Lahav 433 National Crime Unit is handling the investigating in cooperation with the Israel Tax Authority and the Israel Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Prohibition Authority.

Deri served 22 months in prison after a conviction in 1997 for accepting $155,000 in bribes while serving as interior minister. He returned to the Knesset in 2013 and became a minister in 2015.


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