Arab-Israeli Minister Questioned in Bribery Case
Arab-Israeli cabinet minister Salah Tarif was questioned Friday for four hours by the police International Investigations Unit on suspicion of involvement in a case allegedly involving bribes in exchange for granting Israeli citizenship to a Palestinian, according to Haaretz newspaper.
Details of the case were permitted to be published Friday after a court issued a ban on publicizing details of the proceedings four days ago.
The international unit began investigating a number of people suspected of giving and receiving bribes in order to obtain false Israeli citizenship as well as allegations of breach of trust by public officials, said the paper.
Police have already arrested Rafi Cohen, a former interior ministry official and current head of the Ramat Hovav industrial council, and Hosni Badiran, who resides in the Palestinian territories.
Police suspect that Badiran gave Cohen thousands of dollars in early 2000, through Tarif's mediation, in order to gain Israeli citizenship.
Badiran, a wealthy Palestinian from the West Bank village of Baka El Sharkia, was arrested on Monday as he attempted to enter Israel at a border crossing and will be held until Sunday, the paper said.
Cohen was released Friday to house arrest.
Tarif is the first Druze to serve in an Israeli cabinet – Albawaba.com
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