Police question Interior Minister and his wife in corruption probe

Arye Deri faces a number of corruption charges.

Aryeh Deri (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Aryeh Deri
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Interior Minister Arye Deri was questioned by the police’s Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit on Tuesday on suspicions of tax offenses, money laundering and breach of trust.
It was Deri’s fourth round of questioning in the affair.
After leaving the National Fraud Unit headquarters in Lod, Deri said via his Twitter account that he cooperated with the interrogators.
“I have just finished my questioning,” he said. “My wife, Yafa, was questioned for two hours and I was there six hours. We answered all the questions we were asked, and everything will be okay with the help of God.”
The investigation is conducted by the police, the Tax Authority and the Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Prohibition Authority.
The Deris were questioned about three issues:
• The first is suspicion of tax offenses, fraud and money laundering in a real estate deal in which Deri allocated a property in the Givat Shaul neighborhood of Jerusalem to his brother Shlomo.
• The second relates to allegations that construction of a vacation home in Safsufa [Kfar Hoshen], near Mount Merom in the Galilee panhandle, which the Deri family owns, was financed by money it received that went unreported to the tax authorities.
• The third is about the NGO Mifalot Simha, which Yafa Deri runs. It is suspected that some of the money for the organization was not raised or used in accordance with tax regulations.
Channel 2 News reported on Tuesday that the Labor and Social Services Ministry will stop its funding for Mifalot Simha. It was explained that this is not because of the investigation, but because, unlike in the past, the NGO is financially unstable, as seem from its annual reports.
It was reported in the past that Deri was also suspected of bribery offenses, but that allegation was not included in the police’s official list, as reported by Kan News.