Minister in Netanyahu cabinet to be indicted for fraud, breach of trust

Israel’s attorney general is reportedly calling on Welfare and Social Services Minister Haim Katz to resign. 

By World Israel News Staff 

Israel’s Welfare and Social Services Minister Haim Katz has been indicted on charges of fraud and breach of trust, accused of acting with a conflict of interest and using his position as a member of Knesset to advance his personal gain.

The announcement from the Justice Ministry was made in the name of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who is said to be calling upon Katz to step down and is considering instructing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to fire the minister if Katz does not act on his own.

Katz is accused of advancing Knesset legislation to help the cause of a businessman, with whom he had mutual interests.

The minister is said to be pondering the possibility of employing his right to parliamentary immunity, arguing that the charges against him would involve alleged actions on his part that took place in the Knesset.

The businessman, Mordechai Ben-Ari, is also to be charged.

The legislation in question which allegedly involved a conflict of interest was an amendment to the Israeli Securities Law, which Ben Ari is accused of requesting. Katz allegedly acted on the request in 2010 when he served only as an MK. He did not become a cabinet minister until 2015.

Katz is a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party.

A more serious charge against him involving alleged bribery is reported to have been dropped.