By YAAKOV LAPPIN, GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
The wife of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Nili Priel, was questioned under caution by inspectors from the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry on suspicion of illegally employing a Filipino national as a house cleaner, it was reported on Tuesday.
As first reported by Israel Radio on December 7, the cleaner was employed for several months at the couple's luxurious apartment in the Akirov towers in Tel Aviv.
The woman - who does not possess documents enabling her to legally work in Israel - did not undergo a background check, even though she had access to the defense minister's home.
Details of the questioning session remain sketchy, and the ministry has not said when Priel was interviewed or whether Barak will be called in for questioning.
Barak's associates said they did not expect Barak to be questioned.
The sources said he believed the inspectors would be satisfied with questioning his wife and issuing the family a fine.
Sources close to Barak downplayed the investigation and said that the woman had been employed by his family only occasionally and was not working for them anymore.
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