JERUSALEM (Nov. 25)
Attorney General Yosef Harish is expected to decide shortly whether to bring fraud charges against Religious Affairs Minister Avner Shaki of the National Religious Party.
Shaki has been under police investigation for alleged fraud in the allocation of bequests made to the state in which the benefactor did not specify a charitable cause.
The minister sits on a Cabinet committee that resolved to channel several bequests to charitable organizations headed by his wife and other family members. The committee disbursed about $35 million at a session in April that lasted less than two hours.
Shaki has denied wrongdoing. But the police and State Attorney Dorit Beinish have recommended to Harish that he file formal charges.
Shaki is the second Cabinet minister to come under police probe this year for alleged financial offenses. The other is Interior Minister Aryeh Deri of the Orthodox party Shas, who is accused of malfeasance in the allocation of ministry funds.