Police recommend to indict Minister Ya'acov Edri

Police end investigation, say enough evidence found; Edri: If indicted, I'll resign from government.

edri 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
edri 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Police recommended Wednesday that prosecutors indict Immigrant Absorption Minister Ya'acov Edri (Kadima) for ethical misconduct when he was deputy public security minister from 2003 to 2006. Wednesday overnight, Edri was quoted by Israel Radio as saying he would resign from the government if he would be indicted. Edri added that a great injustice has been done to him, and that he would work to protect his good name. The National Fraud Squad's Northern Desk announced Wednesday that it had concluded its investigation into the "Haifa Rabbinic Court Case" that broke out in the fall of 2006; allegedly, bribes were paid to influence the court's decisions. Police believe that Haifa Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Shalush's driver acted as a go-between, giving bribes to the rabbinic court secretary responsible for determining the composition of the rabbinic tribunals, as well as to Rabbi Yigal Krispil, then an adviser to Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar. Investigators said they had sufficient evidence concerning both Krispil and the court secretary, also a rabbi, to try them on bribery-related charges. Edri only became a focus of the probe in February 2007 after he arrived at police offices to offer a statement regarding the affair. At the time, representatives of the Fraud Squad said Edri had been asked to offer a statement, and that during questioning, it became "necessary" to question the minister under caution. After Edri was questioned, investigators he was was suspected of attempting to receive kickbacks. Now, police say, that while serving as deputy public security minister, Edri maintained "unethical" ties to Shalush's driver. Police have passed the case file - together with recommendations for indictments - to the Haifa district attorney.