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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Thursday, October 19, 2017

Faina Kirshenbaum, a former deputy Interior Minister and MK for the Yisrael Beytenu party was indicted on charges of bribery, breach of trust, money laundering and tax offenses by the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court on Tuesday. Kirshenbaum, the party’s former secretary general, was charged along with nine other people in the case for allegedly taking kickbacks in exchange for funding for NGOs.

Among others charged Tuesday were the former director general of the Ministry of Agriculture Rami Cohen and his wife Batya; David Gudovski,Yisrael Beytenu’s former chief of staff; Effi Peles, treasurer of the Binyamin Regional Council and Matan Dahan, chairman of the Ayalim Association, an NGO that settles people in the Galilee and Negev regions.

Former tourism minister Stas Misezhnikov also faces an indictment in the case which broke in 2014. 

According to the indictment, Kirshenbaum and other Yisrael Beytenu officials provided funding it was entitled to hand out through coalition agreements to NGOs and public institutions in exchange for kickbacks in the form of support for Yisrael Beytenu institutions and their own private businesses.  

In January of 2015, INN reported that Kirshenbaum had announced her decision to resign from the Knesset.

At the time she said that she had planned to exercise her right to remain silent in the corruption investigation.

"With a heavy heart and after an extended period of indecision, I have decided that under these circumstances I cannot be investigated in a proper way and I have decided – for lack of an alternative – to remain silent,” she reportedly said.

“Since I accept that choosing to remain silent has many meanings, I decided not to run in the next elections and to devote my time to defending my innocence and helping my family recover,” she added.

Kirshenbaum said her mother's bank account had been seized by police without anyone informing her of this, “leaving her helpless and in immediate danger of having her electricity, water and telephone cut off.”

"My bank accounts were seized without allowing me to continue to pay what I have committed to pay, or even buy goods at the supermarket,” she complained.

Police had reportedly found about four million shekels, or about 1 million dollars, in Kirshenbaum's bank accounts.

It was reported that Kirshenbaum decided not to run in the upcoming elections due to suspicions of corruption against her, but changed her mind upon request from the chairman of her party, Avigdor Liberman. 

(TPS)