Filipino worker in Barak case is arrested by Oz unit

Authorities had not been able to track Virginia down until Sunday, though journalists located her earlier this month.

Nili Priel (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Nili Priel
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A Filipino worker illegally employed by the wife of Defense Minister Ehud Barak was arrested by the Interior Ministry’s Oz immigration unit on Sunday following growing pressure on the authorities to resolve the case and amid public concern that the investigation had been neglected due to the personalities involved.
Barak’s wife, Nili Priel, has admitted to employing the worker, known as Virginia, and offered to pay a fine for the offense.
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Earlier, the Interior Ministry said an investigation into the affair ended because Virginia could not be located by Oz investigators. While authorities had not been able to track Virginia down until Sunday, Israel Radio and Channel 10 located her last month and conducted an interview with her to the embarrassment of the authorities.
“It’s not her fault, she’s a poor thing,” Virginia told Channel 10, referring to Priel, in an interview aired 10 days ago. Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein has rejected Priel’s proposal to settle the case with a fine, adding that the offense merited an indictment rather than a financial penalty.
An Oz unit spokeswoman was not available for comment.