The Tel Aviv District Attorney's Office said Wednesday that it planned to put former minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer on trial, pending a hearing about five different affairs. Ben-Eliezer is suspected of bribery, money laundering, fraud, breach of trust, and tax evasion.
Ben-Eliezer, who was a candidate for president before the scandal erupted, allegedly demanded and accepted money from various businessmen in exchange for activities related to his position.
The money was purportedly received between 2007 and 2014, when Ben-Eliezer served as a member of Knesset and sometimes minister, and was allegedly used to purchase real estate, among other things.
He is also suspected of hiding the exchange of foreign currency worth hundreds of dollars, which he kept in cash in safes at his home and bank.
Ben-Eliezer is further alleged to have submitted false statements of capital to the Knesset speaker by failing to report accumulated capital and assets, and to have neglected to file reports with the Tax Authority and concealing taxable income.
According to the accusations, Ben-Eliezer approached businessman Avraham Nanikashvili in 2011 and successfully requested $400,000 in exchange for favors made possible by the MK's role as Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor.
Ben-Eliezer's attorneys, Navot Tel-Zur and Tal Shapira, said their client was called in for investigation only four days before a presidential election, despite the fact that according to them, the information that prompted his questioning was known to the police for a year prior