Police: Insufficient evidence against MK Herzog
Israel’s national unit has concluded an investigation into suspected wrongdoings by Opposition Chairman Isaac Herzog which included the acceptance of illicit contribution to fund negative campaigns against MK Shelly Yachimovich; available evidence does not substantiate allegations.
The evidence compiled against Batat indicates the falsification of corporate documents and the acceptance of prohibited contributions. Additional evidence has been found regarding transgressions relating to illegal contributions made by Gilad Ramot, an owner of a private company.
The concluded investigation was centered around the suspicion that Herzog received illicit donations that were never reported during the Labor Primaries in 2013. The investigation initially began over suspicion that a smear campaign against Labor MK Shelly Yachimovich was funded with improperly reported donations that might constitute an illicit donation. Herzog was later implicated in the smear campaign and was consequently investigated under the approval of the Attorney General.
In addition to Herzog, several other figures were interrogated as part of the investigation, among them Shimon Batat—a top official in the elections' campaign—and Gilad Ramot—a private company owner.
The investigation concluded that during the Labor party 2013 primaries, the suspected privgate company owner used 40,000 NIS to fund a smear campaign targeting Yachimovich, who ran against Herzog for the party's lead position. Herzog also signed a deposition saying that the State Comptroller was not informed of the supposedly illicit donation. Batat, who had run Herzog's campaign, was suspected of heading the smear campaign against Yaochimovich.
Despite these conclusions, the investigation did not manage to find evidence that linked Herzog to any criminal offense, as he was not found to have known about said donation. Batat and Ramot, however, did not get off so easy, as Batat was found to have falsified documents and receiving an illicit donation, while Ramot was also found to have received an illicit donation.
Herzog's office responded to the investigation's conclusion by saying, "Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog has received the police's statement, and he awaits the State Comptroller's swift decision on the matter."