MK Haim Katz (Likud) 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit held a pre-indictment hearing with Labor and Social Services Minister Haim Katz on Sunday as a last chance for Katz to convince Mandelblit not to indict him for bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
Pre-indictment hearings are generally only granted to ministers – and in some cases their lawyers use the opportunity to convince the prosecution to reduce or drop charges.
In May, Mandelblit informed Katz that if no major changes had taken place, he planned to file an indictment against him. In February, the police made similar recommendations against Katz for corruption allegations relating to his work at Israel Aerospace Industries. The investigation looked into the period of time in which Katz served as the company’s chairman of the National Workers Union.
In a February statement, police said they found enough evidence to indict Katz and other senior IAI officials on charges of bribery, fraud, breach of trust and forceful extortion.
The police statement said that Katz, along with senior officials, were taking advantage of their positions to use other workers for their own benefit. It also said that in return for assistance, the minister provided paid jobs for “his people” in and out of the IAI. Additionally, during his time as chairman, Katz used thousands of shekels worth of IAI resources and labor for his own personal use.Udi Shaham contributed to this story.
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