Nili Priel by David Bachar
Nili Priel. Photo by David Bachar
Text size

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein on Thursday rejected a request made by the wife of Defense Minister Ehud Barak to let her pay a fine for hiring an illegal worker and thus end the affair without further legal ramification.

Barak's wife, Nili Priel, admitted earlier this week that she had employed an illegal foreign worker as a house cleaner and said she takes full responsibility for the action.

Last week Weinstein announced his decision to close the investigation for lack of evidence, after the authorities and Shin Bet security service reportedly failed to locate the woman, who was referred to as "Virginia."

Days later, however, Israel Radio reporter Carmela Menashe tracked down the woman by using the telephone number Priel had - which she did not give the investigators.
A senior attorney in Weinstein's office, Raz Nizri, told Priel in response to her request that the act was deserving of full investigation and that the payment of a fine would not suffice.

Nizri said last week there was no evidence that the defense minister had been personally involved in employing the foreign worker, and that under the circumstances it was decided not to question Barak.