Balad MK summoned for questioning over alleged prison phone smuggling

December 18, 2016 20:13

Balad MK Basel Ghattas has been summoned for questioning on suspicion of smuggling cellphones into Palestinian security prisoners, Channel 2 reported on Sunday. A date has not been set for the police questioning of Ghattas. The investigation of Ghattas does not appear to be connected to the ongoing police fraud investigation of Balad party finances.

In a Balad party statement, that was released before the Channel 2 report, the party accused the police of conducting a “campaign of political persecution." Last month, police questioned Balad MKs Jamal Zahalka and Haneen Zoabi in the campaign finance probe and previously they arrested over 60 party members, including senior officials. They were released, Balad said. Police suspect Balad officials of fraud, forgery and money laundering involving millions of shekels and attempts to conceal the source of illegal funds. Police say the money was smuggled from Jordan to Israel in 2013 to finance
Balad party municipal and Knesset election campaigns. Police deny that the probe is politically motivated.

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