Opposition leader Isaac Herzog questioned by police fraud unit

Marcy Oster

Israeli Labor party leader Isaac Herzog speaking at the party's convention In Tel Aviv, Nov. 8, 2015. (Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90)

Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog speaking at the party’s convention in Tel Aviv, Nov. 8, 2015. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog was questioned for six hours on Sunday by investigators from the police fraud unit.

Herzog, who heads the Zionist Union camp, was questioned over suspicions that he received illegal contributions and failed to report donations during his successful campaign in the Labor Party primaries in 2013. He also is accused of making a false statement.

Herzog said in a statement that he asked to come in and give his statement “in order to put the matter behind me as soon as possible.”

“I have complete trust in law enforcement authorities, and am thankful for their fair and respectable conduct,” he added.

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Zionist Union lawmaker Shelly Yachimovich, who Herzog defeated for the Labor leadership, expressed concern for the party.

“I am convinced Herzog has in mind the best interests of the party and the opposition, and I will work alongside him and the members of our party to decide on the steps to take,” Yachimovich said in a statement. “There is no doubt that the party chairman and opposition leader being questioned under warning exacerbates the situation. I have complete trust in the police and law enforcement authorities.”

Zionist Union is made up of Labor and the Hatnua party led by Tzipi Livni, a former foreign minister.

Earlier this month, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said talks about Zionist Union joining the ruling government coalition stalled when the investigation into Herzog became public in late March.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri of the haredi Orthodox Sephardic Shas party is also currently the subject of a corruption investigation.

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