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The New Arab

Israel's interior minister and wife under investigation for corruption

Deri was previously reported to the authorities [AFP]

Date of publication: 29 May, 2017

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Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and his wife were being questioned by fraud squad detectives on Monday as part of a major corruption investigation, Israeli media reported.
Israeli police arrested 14 people in connection to a corruption investigation into Interior Minister Aryeh Deri on Monday.

Deri and his wife arrived at the headquarters of Israel's national serious crimes unit for questioning on Monday, over allegations that he illegally transferred an apartment to his brother.

"This is an investigation that began in April 2016, which was initially based on suspicions of tax offenses, mainly in the field of assets, and as mentioned above, was expanded to additional suspicions attributed to many suspects, including a public official and his wife," the police said in a statement.

Deri, the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, was previously reported to the authorities after it emerged that he only officially owns one apartment in Jerusalem.

Among those arrested on Monday is former Prime Minister's Office director general Moshe Lion, in addition to senior officials at the Ministry for Development in the Negev and Galilee.

Deri has parliamentary immunity, so police require the approval of the attorney general as well as the Knesset itself to implement any direct sanctions against the interior minister without his agreement.

The police, working alongside the tax authority, are also reportedly investigating the purchase of Deri's holiday villa in Kfar Hoshen, in north Galilee.

Deri’s brother, Shlomo, is under a separate investigation into allegations that German billionaire, James Schlaff, illegally transferring money to his account.

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