Kadima treasurer arrested following corruption probe

Livni: Kadima must set an example for other parties, work to minimize compromises to politicians' integrity; 2 others arrested with Hadad.

Kadima Treasurer Itzik Hadad  (photo credit: Courtesy of  Yalla Kadima)
Kadima Treasurer Itzik Hadad
(photo credit: Courtesy of Yalla Kadima)
Kadima treasurer Itzik Hadad and two other men were arrested on Tuesday, after the party filed a complaint of suspicious conduct to the police.
The three are suspected of theft by a manager, fraud, breach of trust, forgery of official documents and other offenses. The Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court extended their remand for five days, after police said they feared Hadad would try to obstruct the ongoing investigation.
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Chairwoman Tzipi Livni asked the party’s internal comptroller to investigate Hadad, who has been Kadima’s treasurer since its establishment in 2006, due to discrepancies in the party’s finances and a suspicion of conflict of interest.
Kadima legal adviser Eitan Haberman complained to the police and the State Comptroller’s Office earlier this month, after seeing the probe’s results. The police then began a confidential investigation, which was announced to the public on Tuesday.
Hadad’s attorney, Moshe Zchoot, said that Hadad was a normative man and was not likely to disrupt any investigation. Hadad’s “life had been destroyed” by his arrest and the allegations against him, Zchoot said.
In agreeing to extend Hadad’s detention, Judge Abraham Heiman noted that there had been an extensive undercover investigation into the alleged corruption and said that there was sufficient evidence to raise concerns that Hadad might disrupt the probe.
Livni explained her complaint to the police, saying that “any time there is a doubt, no matter how small, that the integrity of public servants and politicians has been compromised, the authorities must be notified immediately.”
The Kadima leader called on the police and the State Comptroller’s Office to “take all measures necessary to minimize these phenomena. This is how Kadima has acted, and we encourage every party with any doubts about the behavior of its administrators to behave.”
Speaking to party MKs after the investigation was made public, Livni said, “I believe that the process of ‘cleaning’ is necessary in the political system. Therefore, I chose to take an unusual step, even if it is unpleasant.”
Kadima members must “set a personal example for all citizens who want to turn to the police when they suspect a crime has been committed. This is the right thing to do,” Livni said.
Ben Hartman contributed to this report.