Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Former Balad MK Haneen Zoabi

The Attorney General and the State Attorney on Thursday informed the Arab Balad party and its former MK Haneen Zoabi that they are weighing indicting them for crimes they committed during the 2013 Knesset and municipal election campaigns.

The case includes suspicions of false reporting and misrepresentations to the State Comptroller regarding the source of funds received by the party in 2013 and their presentation as donations from hundreds of private citizens, allegedly contrary to the truth, this while committing forgery, using thousands of counterfeit documents to consolidate fraud, falsifying corporate documents, and money laundering.

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The police investigation allegedly exposed an organized, broad and systematic fraud, in terms of the scope of the activity and the large number of party members involved, as well as in terms of the complexity and sophistication of the acts, which were intended to illegally interject funds into the party’s coffers.

Police suspect that during 2013 the party deposited, through its officials, about NIS 3.2 million from a source that has not yet been identified, with the funds fraudulently declared as donations from private donors. In practice, these were unlawfully received funds, contrary to statutory restrictions and contrary to the State Comptroller’s instructions.

Zoabi is the main suspect in the case, while the indictment filed against the party itself is based on its liability by virtue of the corporations law regarding suspected criminal acts allegedly carried out on behalf of the party.

Zoabi is suspected of forgery under aggravated circumstances, using a fake document, false registration in corporate documents, attempting to obtain a benefit fraudulently under aggravated circumstances, and money laundering.

At the same time, the State’s Office of Economic Affairs notified 35 other suspects in the case that they are being considered for prosecution subject to a hearing for fraudulently receiving an item under aggravated circumstances, forgery under aggravated circumstances, using a fake document, false registration in corporate documents, and money laundering.

The suspects include the Balad party’s former secretary-general Awad Hussein; party central committee members Murad Hadad and Azaldin Badran; and the party’s Arab Triangle leader, attorney Riyad Mahamid – each according to his share.

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