Leaked Tapes Reveal Inner-workings of Yisrael Beiteinu Graft Network

In recordings, one of main suspects says corruption investigation would involve number of ministers.

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Yisrael Beiteinu's Lieberman, and Kirshenbaum.
Yisrael Beiteinu's Lieberman, and Kirshenbaum.Credit: Emil Salman
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Haaretz

Haim Ben Shushan, one of the main suspects in the alleged Yisrael Beiteinu corruption affair, was taped explaining how the diversion of government funds supposedly worked. On Tuesday night, Channel 10 news revealed tapes from a year-and-a-half ago of Ben Shushan, who was the CEO of the Central Company for the Development of the Shomron at the time, explaining to a friend how money was allegedly transferred via Yisrael Beiteinu to cover the debts of the Shomron Regional council, in return for passing on part of the funds to people connected to MK Fania Kirshenbaum (Yisrael Beiteinu.)

Ben Shushan clearly calls the acts “criminal,” and said he had materials that could send the council head Gershon Mesika to prison for years. He also said that in addition to Kirshenbaum the deputy Interior Minister, the investigation would involve a number of other ministers and director generals of government ministries.

The conversations were recorded in June 2013, at a time when Mesika ordered a damaging report against Ben Shushan, who was then forced to resign. Ben Shushan was taped speaking to a friend on the phone.

Mesika said in response to the release of the tapes that he completely denied any of the accusations, and the tapes had no connection to reality, if they had not been fabricated in the first place.

Selected excerpts from the tapes released by Channel 10:

Haim Ben Shushan: “I have all the material, I can send Gershon [Mesika] to seven, eight years in prison tomorrow. Tomorrow I can send him.”

N.: “Sir, don’t show him any mercy.”

Ben Shushan: “Listen well, so I want to sit, I don’t want to do anything [hasty]. Let’s sit, what we decide to do, we’ll do.”

N.: “Haim, you’re in a war, you know.”

Ben Shushan: “Listen, listen, I’l screw them, listen to me for a minute, listen, if you go with me I’ll screw them. Why? Because until today is was a combination that no one could break.”

Ben Shushan: “I come to Gershon and tell him, ‘Listen Gershon, first, I will not cling to the horns of the altar, but I am telling you one thing, I am leaving here with my head held high only on one condition. I will screw everyone. You set me up here? I will fix all of you I’m only telling you that if I go you’re next.’”

Ben Shushan: “Gershon committed a crime.”

N: “What crime did he commit?”

Ben Shushan: “I’ll give you an example: For 15 years, 16 years, I am telling you now the Holy of Holies When the company received from the state loans to build houses that are called association houses loans Listen well, the Housing Ministry, in all the [Jewish Agency] communities, comes and said to the Development Company via the [regional] council take money, develop the place, of the lots, of the [World] Zionist Organization, build the houses and when you sell them return to me only 50 percent of what you received.”

N: “Okay, what did he do?”

Ben Shushan: “Listen, listen, sums of 70 million shekels. Seventy million shekels. What does the council do with Bentzi [Lieberman, the previous council head] and Gershon, Bentzi to be more accurate, takes the money And built a few houses too, and built a few houses and didn’t sell, but where is the bigger problem; these loans are sitting as debts on the development company. It is impossible to repay them, why? Because you didn’t build, you didn’t do anything, pay back the loans. “

N: “Okay.”

Ben Shushan: “He will get Faina [Kirshenbaum] all tangled up.”

N: “Faina, Okay.”

Ben Shushan: “Why, what did they do? Faina transferred 3 million shekels to erase the association homes loans.”

N: “As what did she transfer it?”

Ben Shushan: “She transferred coalition funds to the treasury, passed them on and walla, they erased three and a half million. Faina found Gershon, Gershon sends out a letter: Transfer a million and a half shekels to [anonymous], and they transfer in invoices money to Faina’s people, in invoices, at the instruction of Gershon.”

N: “For what?”

Ben Shushan: “Fake contracts, for doing nothing they receive money, listen ”

N: “What you’re saying now is, that ”

Ben Shushan: “Mafia.”

N: “At some such stage the business will blow up and they will put it all on you, why don’t you [do it first], you go, now, say, people, I on my own initiative have come, you also may have the privilege, say I want to be a state’s witness. I am ready ”

Ben Shushan: “No, no, I will do something else.”

N: “Haim, Listen well what I am going to tell you now, [the police] are already working...”

Ben Shushan: “Of course they’re working.”

Ben Shushan: “I told Gershon, listen I’m a small fish, they’ll screw you in the ass, will fuck you, you don’t understand that? [Gershon told me]: ‘What can I do now, what can I do?’”

N: “Are you a retard? Let’s throw it all on them.”

Ben Shushan: “Listen, and I haven’t opened everything yet, there are five more ministers and four director generals of government ministries who received money, received money.”

N: “Bribes, they received?”

Ben Shushan: “Yes. Cash money they received. “Gershon will give you money urgently.”

N: “Come, so you’re going to open Pandora’s Box now?”

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