Israel's interior minister should be charged with money laundering, police say

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By Associated Press  with NBC News World News
Image: Israel's Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, leader of the ultra-Orthodox
Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri is the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party.   -   Copyright  Ammar Awad

JERUSALEM — Israeli police are recommending charges be brought against the country's interior minister in a major corruption case.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Tuesday there is "evidentiary basis" against Aryeh Deri that he committed fraud and breach of trust, as well as for the commission of millions of shekels in tax offenses, money laundering and the disruption of court proceedings.

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Police have questioned Deri and his wife on suspicion of receiving illicit payments from businessmen. They deny any crimes were committed.

Deri was previously sentenced to three years in prison for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in 2000 during his previous stint as interior minister in the 1990s.

He served 22 months in prison but made a political comeback and retook the reins of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party in 2013.