Wednesday , May 31 2023

The AG will probably accuse Interior Minister Deri of tax fraud, not bribery


Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has officially announced his inclination to charge Shas party leader Arye Deri with several charges of tax fraud, subject to a preliminary hearing, but not more severe bribery charges.The Jerusalem Post reported for the first time in November Mandelblit’s move to likely charge Deri ahead of the March 23 election and that the charges are likely to be reduced from bribery to tax fraud. until after the election and possibly even more than six months from now. “After more than five years of difficult investigations, I thank the Creator of the world for the decision to reject all false accusations against me and I am convinced that at the hearing it will also be decided to close the case on tax offenses, after all facts are presented. Attorney General, “Deri wrote on Twitter in response to the decision. “I intend to continue to focus on the roles of the interior minister and the concern for the weak who need assistance, especially during the coronavirus and the preservation of the state’s Jewish identity.” After an investigation of almost three years, the police recommended the indictment of Interior Minister Deri in November 2018. In August 2019, former state attorney Shai Nitzan recommended the indictment of Deri for tax offenses, fraud, money laundering and some unspecified obstruction offenses . The delay since then in making a decision has been extremely unusual.

But times were not normal. In August 2019, the country was in the middle of several rounds of elections, which led to the formation of a government only last May. By May 2020, the whole world was overwhelmed by the coronavirus crisis that drained the ability of the Ministry of Justice to And yet, despite all these qualifications, Mandelblit in November acknowledged that Deri’s case should have been decided earlier and suggested that it could be decided very soon, possibly in the coming weeks or months. less than two months later, he became aware that a new round of elections could be on the way and that it would be controversial to issue the Deri decision in the middle of a new election season. One source of delay, which may be less well known to the public, is that the case itself has evolved substantially since the 2018 police recommendation. Most of the more serious allegations of bribery have not gone out of control and have become a less serious process, although still Criminal, case of tax fraud. Aspects of the tax fraud case were discovered only recently in mid-2019 and this required attracting new experts in the case to delve deeper.

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