Israeli Attorney General Plans to Indict Arab-Israeli Minister
Israeli Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein said Thursday that he was planning to file an indictment against Arab-Israeli minister Salah Tarif, charging him with bribery and breach of trust, reported Haaretz newspaper.
However, Rubinstein must wait for the results of a hearing against Tarif before reaching a final decision.
Tarif is a minister without portfolio, with responsibility for Arab affairs.
A meeting was held in Rubinstein's office Tuesday to discuss whether an indictment should be filed against Tarif.
Present at the meeting were State Prosecutor Edna Arbel, Assistant Attorney General Nava Ben-Or, the assistant state prosecutor, and Central District Attorney Nurit Shanit, said the paper.
At the end of the meeting, it was decided that there was enough evidence to file the indictment. In addition, it was decided to file an indictment against the former head of the interior ministry's population registry, Rafael Cohen, who was also involved in the same affair.
Should the hearing find grounds to file an indictment against Tarif, the paper said that Rubinstein would ask the Knesset House Committee to remove Tarif's diplomatic immunity in order for him to stand trial.
Tarif is suspected of helping a friend of his, Hosni Badran, a Palestinian resident of Baka a-Sharkiyeh, to meet in 1999 with Cohen.
The meeting took place so that Badran could receive the status of a permanent resident, a step in the direction of becoming an Israeli citizen. Authorities suspect that Tarif was present at the meeting.
The police suspect that in exchange for Cohen's help, Badran gave him an envelope, through Tarif, containing several thousand dollars.
Tarif and Badran have both continued to deny involvement in the affair.
Cohen, however, has accepted the accuracy of the charges against him, after failing a lie detector test, said the paper.
Tarif is the only Arab minister in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s cabinet – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)