Joint Arab List MKs Zahalka, Zoabi interrogated by police

Joint Arab List Hanin Zoabi and Jamal Zahalka, arrived at the offices of the Israel Police’s investigations unit Monday morning for questioning as part of an ongoing case into a corruption scandal involving their political party.

Dozens of Arab protesters turned up outside the offices in solidarity with the MKs to protest against “the political witch hunt against (Arab) MKs.”

Zoabi, whose incitement against Israel and openly anti-Israel statements and deeds have repeatedly placed her under the spotlight, commented on the investigation.

“We have not committed any crime. This is a witch hunt that is continuing without any reason,” she adamantly declared.

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For his part Jamal Zahalka told Israel Radio that the party has provided all required documentation to the state comptroller’s office, but added that the very existence of a police investigation was a premeditated strike against Balad.

The investigation began last month when police suspected, based on information received from a State Comptroller report that illicit funds amounting to millions of shekels had been smuggled for political activities into Israel from the Arab world by various means, including inside suitcases filled with cash.

The probe expanded with the arrest of 13 additional suspects, including senior party members shortly thereafter.

During the investigation, searches were conducted in the homes and offices of the key suspects during which important documents and bank statements connected with the case were discovered.

Overall, more than 20 suspects were arrested on suspicion of surreptitiously accumulating funds and attempting to conceal their origins while carrying out a string of crimes. These included, inter alia, the falsification of corporate documents, forgery, the use of forged documents, money laundering, and contraventions of political party financing laws.

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