Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit has decided to indict Likud lawmaker and former Labor Minister Haim Katz for tax offenses, pending a hearing, the State Prosecutor’s Office announced on Tuesday.
Katz is suspected of failing to properly report 2.2 million shekels ($651,000) in income to the Israel Tax Authority that he allegedly made between 2007 and 2018 from seven properties he owns. Some of these properties were registered as owned by family members.
Responding to the decision to potentially indict him, Katz said: “I hope after the hearing we’ll leave behind all of these false accusations against me and put an end to this witch hunt. The tax issue has been blown out of proportion. No Israeli citizen has been changed with anything similar.”
His attorneys, Navit Negev and Yana Fogel-Slotsnik, argued in a statement the case “has no criminal aspect,” and an indictment is expected “only because it has to do with Knesset member Haim Katz.”
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Katz was accused of fraud and breach of trust in a separate case in 2019, but in February he was granted immunity by the Knesset. His immunity expired after Israel’s latest election, and prosecutors are negotiating a deal with Katz, but have not reached any agreements yet.