Attorney general will charge Aryeh Deri with tax offenses — report

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit will soon file criminal charges against Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, who has in the past served jail time for bribery, Channel 13 reports.

In November 2018, police recommended filing charges against the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party on suspicion of committing fraud, breach of trust, obstructing court proceedings, money laundering and tax offenses involving millions of shekels. Some of the incidents allegedly occurred while Deri was a cabinet minister.

Mandelblit, however, only intends to charge Deri with tax offenses, the report says.

Deri served 22 months in prison from 2000 to 2002, after he was convicted of taking bribes as interior minister in the 1990s.

He reclaimed the leadership of his Shas party shortly before the 2015 Knesset elections, replacing Eli Yishai. He returned to his Interior Ministry post in 2016, after a court ruled his prior conviction did not disqualify him from the position.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri speaks to reporters after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine in Jerusalem on December 20, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)