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Police Raid Housing Office Based on Comptroller’s Report

Senior officers of the Israeli police fraud squad, armed with search warrants, carried out a noon raid on the offices of the government’s Amidar housing construction and rental corporation on Tuesday.

They seized a large quantity of documents and questioned a number of officials, but did not detain anyone.

The police action followed the receipt by Attorney General Yosef Harish of files sent him by State Comptroller Miriam Ben-Porat, who has charged Amidar Chairman Uri Shani and other officers with financial irregularities.

Shani is an appointee of Housing Minister Ariel Sharon of Likud, who sought unsuccessfully to delay publication of the comptroller’s highly critical report until after the national elections.

The irregularities cited by Ben-Porat included lavish weekends at Amidar expense for corporation officers and their wives, the misuse of company credit cards for personal purchases and improper registration of state funds.

Other investigations scheduled to be launched based on the comptroller’s report include one against Limor Livnat, recently elected to the Knesset on the Likud list, for irregularities during her tenure as chair of the Housing Ministry’s Building Center.

Amidar spokesmen said the police had been given all the documents they asked for, adding that they would find nothing new in them. “The documents were all those on which the State comptroller based her own report,” Amidar said.

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