Likud party members claimed that MKs who left the Likud did not return funds they had received in accordance with the Party Financing Law despite pledging to do so. The suit was filed by the party’s legal advisor Avi Halevi.
According to the indictment, most Likud MKs signed a letter of commitment with Hapoalim Bank in 2003, in which they pledged to transfer party funds to a Likud bank account for the duration of the 16th Knesset.
The letter emphasized that the commitment would apply even if the MKs left the Likud.
In November 2005, towards the end of the 16th Knesset, 14 Likud MKs left the party to establish the “National Responsibility” party, or today’s Kadima.
After the split, Likud faction chairman MK Gideon Sa'ar requested that Kadima members meet their commitment. Although the party transferred NIS 1.7 million ($410,000) in Likud funds, it failed to transfer the remaining NIS 1.6 million ($385,000).
Following negotiations between the two parties in 2006, an agreement was reached according to which Kadima pledged to return the remainder of the funds, subject to approval by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss.
Lindenstrauss filed a report in January 2007 regarding the handling of various party accounts during the 16th Knesset, in which he approved the transfer, however the funds have not yet been returned to the Likud party.
Kadima officials were unavailable for comment.