Israel police hold dozens of public officials in corruption probe
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - YOUM7 (Archive)

JERUSALEM: Israeli police said Wednesday they had detained more than 30 serving and former public officials in an investigation into alleged corruption, and that one of those under suspicion is a deputy minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet.

The identities of the suspects have not been released but police spokeswoman Luba Samri said arrested suspects would face remand hearings later in the day.

Samri said senior public servants including a deputy minister and former officials were among the targets of investigation, and that the suspected crimes in the case included fraud, breach of trust and money laundering.

She said the year-long investigation made public on Wednesday “raised suspicions that the suspects collaborated … to further their own private and public interests to procure funds … in a manner that fundamentally damaged proper conduct.”

News of the investigation came as Israel gears up for a March 17 election in which Netanyahu is seeking a fourth term.

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