Labor to investigate Barak-era corruption

New chairman Cabel says charges raised in newspaper against Barak ally and former faction director-general Weizmann Shiri will be examined.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
January 22, 2011 23:50
2 minute read.
Ehud Barak 311

Barak 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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A week after Defense Minister Ehud Barak's departure from Labor, party officials announced plans over the weekend to probe whether he had committed or was aware of any corruption that took place in the party when he led it.

New Labor faction chairman Eitan Cabel said he would examine charges raised in Yediot Aharonot on Friday about the way Barak's longtime ally Weizmann Shiri handled the party's finances when he was its director-general.

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"We will check the veracity of that report and various questions related to the party's  financial situation," Cabel said.

Labor spokesman Danny Borowitz told the newspaper's Nahum Barnea that he heard many stories of corruption in the party. The newspaper printed a text message from Shiri to another party official that appeared to be incriminating evidence. Shiri and the party activist he wrote gave the newspaper contradictory explanations.

Borowitz told the newspaper that the incident had persuaded him that he was working for corrupt people. Shiri said he had nothing to hide. He called on Borowitz to fill a complaint with police.

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 Cabel will convene the eight remaining members of the Labor faction on Sunday at the party's headquarters in Kfar Saba. The MKs will begin to discuss when Labor should elect a new leader and who should run the party on an interim basis.

At a cultural event in Holon, Cabel said the next leader of the party should be an outsider and not one Labor's current MKs.

"I prefer that the chair not be one of us eight because among us, there is too much bad blood," Cabel said. "It''s better to have someone untainted."

MK Isaac Herzog, who intends to run for Labor's leadership, said  at a cultural event in Ramat Gan that after rehabilitating the party, Labor could run at the heart of a Center-Left bloc that can serve as an alternative to the Right and Kadima.

Sunday will be the first regular cabinet meeting without the three Labor ministers who quit last week.

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