MQG to Attorney General: Open a criminal investigation against MK Oren Hazan

Following the State Comptroller’s report, MQG called on the Attorney General to open a criminal investigation against MK Oren Hazan on suspicion that he presented a false Financial statement to the State Comptroller during the Likud party’s primary elections.

In light of the latest report by the State Comptroller regarding the audit of financial statements presented by the candidates for primary elections of the various political parties for the 20th Knesset, MQG requests that the Attorney General open a criminal investigation against MK Oren Hazan.

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MK Oren Hazan at a casino in Bulgaria

According to the report, Hazan presented to the State Comptroller a financial statement declaring that he had no expenses nor did he receive any donations during his primary elections campaign, except for the registration fee to the party amounting to 7,000 NIS, which he paid for personally.

In addition, the report indicates that the State Comptroller found that even though Hazan actually did have expenses related to his campaign, these were not disclosed to the State Comptroller. Given this, it was not possible to properly audit Hazan’s accounting, it was not possible to establish the total sum of his expenses and donations – and more importantly, it was not possible to ascertain the source and the legality of the donations which he received during his campaign.

The report mentions that Hazan claimed he was unaware of his duty to report all expenses paid for by others on his behalf, but the State Comptroller notes in the report that he does not accept this claim. Furthermore, the State Comptroller chose to emphasize the fact that submitting a false affidavit – as Hazan allegedly did – is considered a criminal offense, which carries a penalty of up to three years in prison.

Apart from the severity of submitting a false affidavit, previous court rulings equated such an offense with perjury, and further established that if such an offense is committed by a publicly elected official, the offense is considered to involve moral turpitude, similar to the case of MK Tzahi Hanegbi.

In addition, this perjury – if it is proven to be such – is even more grievous because the information that was withheld prevented the State Comptroller from properly conducting the audit, and from determining, amongst other things, the type of donations the MK received to fund his political campaign in the primary elections, as well as their legality.