(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Former defense minister Binyamin “Fuad” Ben-Eliezer will face charges in a series of cases against him, after Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein dismissed his attorneys’ objections in a pre-indictment hearing, the Justice Ministry announced on Tuesday.
The charges - which span five cases - include bribery, money laundering, fraud, breach of trust, and tax offenses. In a statement on Tuesday night, Ben-Eliezer’s attorneys said that they have full confidence in the courts, and that “despite the grave medical condition of Fuad, we will fight to clear his name.”
In June, Weinstein had said he would likely file an indictment against Ben-Eliezer, 79, for the five charges, subject to a pre-indictment hearing, a last chance for Ben- Eliezer to convince him to drop the charges, which Ben-Eliezer has just lost.
In January, police said there was evidence, not only against Ben- Eliezer, but also a against number of other suspects in the case, including Jacky Ben-Zaken, businessman Avraham Nanikashvili and Ben-Eliezer’s former bureau chief Ayelet Azoulay.
The case against Ben-Eliezer deals with allegations from 2007 to 2013, including a period when he was national infrastructure minister. He allegedly accepted large bribes from a number of associates in order to advance their business interests.
Before the case against Ben-Eliezer broke in June 2014, he was expected to be a front-runner in the election that same month for the presidency.