Police re-questioning former Labor MK and presidential hopeful Ben-Eliezer

The National Fraud Squad’s case against Ben-Eliezer deals with suspicions of wrongdoing surrounding his purchase of a multimillion shekel house in Jaffa.

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January 1, 2015 02:18
1 minute read.
Benjamin Ben-Eliezer

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

 
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Former defense minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer was questioned under caution for two hours by police investigators on Wednesday after months in which the investigation had been largely put on hold because of his health problems.

The National Fraud Squad’s case against Ben-Eliezer deals with suspicions of wrongdoing surrounding his purchase of a multimillion shekel house in Jaffa, which police suspect was bought largely with illegally acquired funds.

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Other allegations in the case include that Ben-Eliezer received hundreds of thousands of shekels in bribes from a real estate developer to help lobby on his behalf with Egyptian officials he was close to, in order to help advance a project the man was planning in Egypt. He is also suspected of receiving around $400,000 from oil magnate Avraham Nanikashvili as payment for helping him during a tax probe.

The investigation against Ben-Eliezer was put on hold while he underwent bypass surgery a few months ago. The case first broke shortly before Israel’s presidential elections in June. Ben- Eliezer was expected to be a strong contender, but the investigation scuttled his campaign.

Ben-Eliezer, 78, ended his political career earlier this month by tendering his letter of resignation as a Labor Party MK to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

Ben-Eliezer told Edelstein that due to his medical condition he was unable to properly function as a representative for the public.

A week before his resignation, he was hospitalized with a fever.

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