Police are preparing to announce they have gathered sufficient evidence to indict Interior Minister Aryeh Deri on charges of fraud, breach of trust, and money laundering, the Kan public broadcaster reported over the weekend.
Investigators will also recommend indicting Deri’s brother Shlomo on economic offenses, the report said.
Deri is suspected of diverting hundreds of thousands of shekels in state funds to NGOs run by members of his immediate family, as well as suspected tax fraud linked to the sale of apartments to his brother.
In some of the rounds of interrogations held in July, August, and September, investigators questioned both Deri and his wife, Yaffa, who runs two of the organizations, Mifalot Simcha and Yehudia Yaale, that allegedly received the public funds.
Yaffa Deri is suspected of using money donated to her nonprofit organizations to purchase real estate. She has joined her husband for two of the previous rounds of questioning.
Both Deris have been questioned under caution as criminal suspects.
Aryeh Deri has previously denied any wrongdoing on his part or his wife’s, and said the couple would “give answers to all the questions,” and cooperate fully with the investigation.
Deri already 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 2015’s 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.