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Opposition leader Herzog questioned under caution

Sources close to the Zionist Union leader said he fully cooperated with police investigators; statement from his office says he asked to provide his version so he could put the matter behind him.



Police questioned Opposition leader Isaac Herzog under caution on Sunday on suspicion of receiving illicit contribution, not reporting donations received, and giving a false statement.

A preliminary investigation was launched late March against Herzog on suspicion he used funds from his private company – which specializes in bringing foreign caregivers into Israel – to fund his campaign during the Labor party primaries in 2013.

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Allegations have been made that Herzog used a team of lawyers to hide the money, and make the financial transfer from his private company to his campaign appear legal.

Sources close to Herzog said the Zionist Union party leader fully cooperated with investigators and provided answers to all questions.

“As soon as the preliminary investigation’s existence was leaked (to the press), Herzog asked to be allowed to provide his version so he could put the matter behind him – and so he did, ” a statement from Herzog’s office said.

“I welcome the preliminary investigation that is being conducted, following the decision of the attorney general, ” Herzog said when the initial investigation was launched. “This is political slander that the Likud party and disgruntled activists tried to spread before the elections, and it was denied at the time. I’m certain the investigation will disprove these absurd claims once and for all. I will fully cooperate with whatever I’m asked to do, so the issue can be promptly clarified.”

This isn’t the first time Herzog has faced such suspicions. He served as the cabinet secretary in Ehud Barak’s government following the 1999 elections. Allegations arose against Barak’s campaign of violating the Parties Financing Law, and Herzog was suspected of fundraising for the One Israel (Labor) party with the help of NGOs. At the time, he was questioned under warning and police recommended to indict him. But Herzog maintained silence, and the attorney general eventually decided to close the case, citing insufficient evidence.

Via Ynet News



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