Israel to charge former officials with corruption

Israel has a strong, robust democracy and its judicial system works to ensure that those who are guilty of crimes, including government officials, are charged, sentenced and jailed.

Israel’s Attorney General and the State Prosecutor have decided to charge former Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov and former Immigration Deputy Minister Feina Kirshenbaum and other officials with corruption.

Both ministers are immigrants from the former USSR and were members of Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beitenu political party.

Liberman himself is not implicated.

Another dozen party officials were also implicated in the case.

The Justice Ministry said on Monday that the affair was one of the biggest and most encompassing corruption cases in Israeli history, involving the use of a systematic and organized mechanism for transferring state funds to a number of entities in return for various benefits.

The charges are expected to include bribery, fraud, breach of trust, money laundering, false registration and obstructing an investigation.

Misezhnikov is also suspected of drug abuse while serving as minister, when he would send an adviser at official events in Israel and abroad to purchase cocaine for him, and would take the drugs during the course of such events.

The former minister is also suspected of transferring a million shekels to organizers of a student festival in Eilat in exchange for their employment of his life partner, who received thousands of shekels as a salary.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News