Ex-con Interior Minister Arye Dery questioned by the police for 11 hours in connection with new corruption probe, but this time new faces come out to lights.
Among 16 suspects detained for questioning on Monday, there are father Mikhael Mirilashvili and son Yitzhak (Slava), the sixth-richest family in Israel, worth about $3 billion as for 2013. Police suspect that the philanthropist family gave more than NIS 500,000 in 2014 to Mifalot Simha, an NGO run by interior minister’s wife Yaffa Dery, but the money funneled to the Dery family by falsely registering confidants and relatives as employees of the organization.
In 2000 Arye Dery was convicted of bribery and fraud. He served 22 months in prison. Ten years later, in 2012, he returned to lead the ultra-Orthodox Shas party.
Now, police suspect that corruption played a primary role in the real-estate purchases by Dery and members of his family.
A police statement released following the interrogation said Dery suspected of money laundering, theft by an authorized person, fraud, breach of trust, false registration of corporate documents and tax offenses.
Among 16 people who questioned are former Ministry of Finance senior official Moshe Haba and Advocate Erez Malul. Two other previously questioned Ministry of the Development of the Negev and Galilee director general Ariel Mishal and Jerusalem city councilman Moshe Leon.
Mikhael Mirilashvili and his son made headlines with the sale 40 percent remaining stake in Russian social media network VKontakte for $1.12 billion. The family also owns 5.2 percent of the Israeli oil and gas exploration company ILDC Energy.
Mikhael Mirilashvili’s business interests in Israel include ownership on Jewish heritage TV Channel 20 which has plans to expand into right-wing leanings news service, Kitaim Venture Capital, Hoshen Argaman Diamonds and WaterGen; a company wich extracts water from the air.
Mikhael Mirilashvili, 57, was born in Georgia and originally trained as a mathematician. But later when he moved with hi family to St. Petersburg He graduated as a medical doctor, specializing in pediatrics. It was only later when he was in his early 20th, Mikhael Mirilashvili joined his father’s Moshe Mikhael real estate company and gambling interests in Russia.
In August 2000 while driving on a highway in his Lexus LS carrying the logo of the family’s casino company on the numberplate, the father Moshe Mirilashvili was kidnapped by a group pretending to be policemen.
Two days later, he returned safely.
Two weeks later, after two who were responsible for the kidnapping, found dead, after they were tortured, along with their girlfriends and driver, Mikhael Mirilashvili was arrested, charged with kidnapping and sentenced to serve eight years in prison.
In 2009, Mikhael was released from jail and returned to Israel and Saint-Petersburg.