Sharansky seeks Independent Claims Conference probe

Senior executives of the body on restitution for Holocaust survivors accused of embezzling funds.

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Jason Reed)
Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Jason Reed)
Natan Sharansky, Jewish Agency chairman, has called for an independent investigation of allegations against senior executives of the Claims Conference, a spokesman told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
As agency chairman, Sharansky has a seat on the board of the conference, which was established in 1951 to secure restitution for Holocaust survivors and their heirs from the German government.
Sharansky made his call in a letter to conference chairman Julius Berman in which he “recommended that a public independent committee of distinguished members who are not connected to either the board of the directors or the beneficiaries be established, in order to investigate the allegations so that the public trust in this important organization not be damaged,” the spokesman said.
Berman told the Post that it would be “inappropriate and impolite to discuss our response publicly before we have responded personally to Mr. Sharansky.”
He said “the FBI and US Department of Justice conducted a rigorous and in-depth investigation into the fraud, with the full cooperation of the Claims Conference, and the results are available for all to study.
“I doubt if anyone could identify more public and independent entities than these,” Berman said.