Labor Party MK Binyamin Ben Eliezer .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Labor Party MK and former presidential candidate Benyamin Ben-Eliezer kept around NIS 2 million in cash in a safe in a Jerusalem bank, it emerged on Monday, as details of the police investigation against him continued to leak to the press.
Initially it was reported that police found the safe during a search of the bank, and only later did it emerge that actually, the location and contents of the safe were voluntarily handed over by Ben-Eliezer to police before the raid.
On Monday afternoon, Ben-Eliezer's lawyer Navot Tal-Tzur sent a harshly worded letter to the Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and police Intelligence and Investigations branch Chief Meni Yitzhaki in which he wrote "over the past 24 hours we have seen an unprecedented wave of leaks from the investigation and with every few hours new information emerges, most of it lies."
Tal-Tzur said that his client has made himself available to the investigators and cooperated with them "despite the short notice and the strange timing of the investigation."
In regards to the cash-filled safe, Tal-Tzur said "things reached a new peak with the report about a a "police raid" of a secret safe Fuad owns in Jerusalem. This did not take place. The police check of the safe was planned ahead of time with investigators", adding that Ben-Eliezer had already informed police in writing the night before about the safe.
On Monday Ben-Eliezer himself pointed a finger at the police, asking why police only called him in for questioning last week if they'd known about the allegations for a year.
On Friday, Ben-Eliezer was questioned for five hours by police in Lod, after the Attorney General's office received information indicating that he took millions in shekels from a number of people, in particular oil magnate Avraham Nanikashvili.
Much of the allegations have centered on his acquisition of a penthouse apartment in Jaffa reported to be worth several million shekels.
The allegations against Ben-Eliezer include large scale tax evasion, and investigators from the Tax Authority have been cooperating fully with police in the investigation.
Ben-Eliezer has referred to the investigation as "a targeted hit" and has vowed to clear his name.