Photo: Dan Balilty
Continues to deny allegations. Benizri
Photo: Dan Balilty

Knesset member, rabbi to be indicted

Shas party Knesset Member Shlomo Bernizri and his political, spiritual patron Reuven Elbaz set to be indicted for involvement in bribery scandal during Benizri's term as labor and welfare minister

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz decided Sunday to file an indictment against Knesset Member Shlomo Bernizri (Shas) for bribery, fraud and breach of trust allegedly committed during his tenure as labor and welfare minister.


An indictment is also expected to be filed against Benizri's spiritual and political patron Rabbi Reuven Elbaz on suspicion of facilitating and accepting bribes.


Benizri allegedly passed on advance information to building contractor Moshe Sela which included details on the quota of foreign laborers expected to arrive in Israel. Allegedly, Benizri had received perks worth millions of shekels in return for this information.


During most of the investigation, Benizri upheld his right to remain silent, just as he had when police confronted with Sela, who has become a state witness.


Two of Benizri's former aids, Amos Daniel and Yitzhak Avidani, were also questioned for allegedly conspiring to disrupt court proceedings and for breaches of faith in connection with the affair.


Upon the conclusion of the investigation, Mazuz accepted the recommendation of State Prosecutor Eran Shendar and Jerusalem District Attorney Eli Abarbanel to indict the former minister following a hearing.


Benizri continued to deny the allegations against him.


"This is a plot contrived against me by people with interests," he told Ynet. "I believe in my innocence and I intend to convince the attorney general of this the first chance I get and bring about the annulment of the recommendation to indict me."


פרסום ראשון: 05.29.05, 21:31
 new comment
This will delete your current comment