Israeli Interior Minister Defends Police in First Interview Since Beginning of Corruption Probe

'They've done their job and it's up to them to investigate,' Arye Dery tells Shas party members criticizing investigation.

Arye Dery.
Alex Kolomoisky

Shas Party Chair and Interior Minister Arye Dery defended police and prosecutors against criticism from within his party for the ongoing corruption investigation into his affairs in an interview published Thursday with the weekly "Yomleyom."

"I want to make one thing clear," said Dery. "Even if, God forbid, this story continues, and even if they say that there's nothing and close the case, I won't come to the police and prosecutors with complaints. They've done their job and it's up to them to investigate."

"Yomleyom" is a publication affiliated with the Shas party and the interview was the first given by the interior minister since the investigation was opened, as a message to investigators that they're decision will not have political consequences. 

In the interview, Dery also addressed the work of the government and the criticism of some of the cabinet members heard out from behind closed doors. 

"I'm of the opinion that when you're a cabinet member and you have something to say, say it only in cabinet meetings," said Dery. "Even if you have particularly sharp criticism, say it inside the room and not to the media. The cabinet is a hub in which sensitive, weighty decisions are made, and therefore any public criticism against the government's decisions and even more so against the defense apparatus, is illegitimate in my eyes. This weakens the defense establishment - the IDF and the Shin Bet."