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Indictment filed against former MK Haneen Zoabi on fraud, forgery charges

CM 04/08/2021

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An indictment was filed on Wednesday against former Balad MK Haneen Zoabi as well as 12 additional defendants, some of whom held official positions in the Balad Party in the past, on charges of fraud and forgery. This comes following the announcement by Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit in April of his decision to prosecute the former Knesset member.
The indictment is part of a plea deal, in which the defendants will confess and be convicted of the offenses attributed to them, and will petition for the imposition of agreed-upon sentences, including prison sentences that will run through service work, public benefit work, probation, as well as fines ranging from NIS 25,000-75,000.
Zoabi was investigated along with about 35 other suspects, including senior officials at the time in the Balad Party, for forgery and fraud in connection with Balad Party reporting documents that were submitted to the State Comptroller, in two general and local election campaigns in 2013.
After a plea agreement was signed with some of its members, Balad welcomed it, stating: “The signing of the plea deal with 13 party members alongside the attorney-general’s decision to close the criminal case against the party contrary to the prosecution’s opinion, proves our outcry from day one that it is a political persecution of the party and its members.”

The suspects in the case were accused collectively of planning fraud scheme to receive NIS 3.2 million without properly reporting on the funds in accordance with campaign finance laws.
The forgery and fraudulent documents were allegedly filed to the state comptroller as part of the obligations of parties to comply with campaign finance laws and allegedly continued for three years, from 2013 to 2016.
Collectively, the accused were suspected of filing a stunning 1,300 forged or falsified receipts to support their false campaign finance filings.
The charges indicated that officials left signs of having created the documents in 2015-2016, even though they were presented as documents dating back to 2013.
Though the campaign donations’ true illegal source appeared to be covered up, Zoabi and party officials allegedly presented the donations as a large volume of permitted small donations.Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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