Interior Minister Aryeh Deri left the offices of the Israel Police’s anti-corruption unit Lahav 433 in Lod on Thursday, after his eighth round of questioning in an ongoing investigation into a slew of corruption suspicions against him.
“As usual I answered all the questions I was asked,” he tweeted. “Everything is fine and will be even better, God willing.”
“I would also like to thank all those who wished me well on the occasion of my birthday. Let there be only joy in Israel,” he concluded.
Deri is suspected of diverting hundreds of thousands of shekels in state funds to NGOs run by members of his immediate family, as well as suspected tax fraud linked to the sale of apartments to his brother.
In some of the previous rounds of interrogations in July, August, and September, investigators questioned both Deri and his wife, Yaffa, who runs two of the organizations, Mifalot Simcha and Yehudia Yaale, that allegedly received the public funds.
They face possible charges of theft, fraud, and tax evasion.
Yaffa Deri is suspected of using money donated to her nonprofit organizations to purchase real estate. She has joined her husband for two of the previous rounds of questioning.
Both Deris have been questioned under caution as criminal suspects.
Aryeh Deri has previously denied any wrongdoing on his part or his wife’s, and said the couple would “give answers to all the questions,” and cooperate fully with the investigation.
Deri already served 22 months in prison from 2000 to 2002, after he was convicted of taking bribes as interior minister in the 1990s.
He reclaimed the leadership of his Shas party shortly before 2015’s Knesset elections, replacing Eli Yishai. He returned to his Interior Ministry post last year, after a court ruled his prior conviction did not disqualify him from the position.