Accused of lying about campaign spending, scandal-plagued Likudnik facing criminal investigation

(JTA) – Israeli Knesset member Oren Hazan is expected to be the subject of a criminal investigation. 

The investigation is expected in the wake of a state comptroller’s report released Wednesday accusing Hazan, of the Likud party, of lying on an affidavit and not disclosing his campaign spending, the Times of Israel reported. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to three years in prison.

Hazan, 34, also was suspended from the Ethics Committee on Wednesday.

The comptroller’s report also listed several politicians, including Education Minister Naftali Bennett of Jewish Home and former Likud Knesset member Moshe Feiglin, who have been fined for campaign finance violations. According to the report, Hazan spent $6,500 more than he had reported on disclosure forms.

“In the absence of the reported [funds], it was impossible to evaluate the candidate’s bank accounts and the overall income and expenses and their origin, and the legality of donations that he received that funded his campaign expenses,” the report said.

Hazan’s suspension came in response to several complaints made by fellow Knesset members, including a wheelchair-using Yesh Atid member whose disability he mocked last week.

In its decision to suspend Hazan, the Ethics Committee said his conduct “severely insulted the honour of the Knesset, its public image and the honor of its members,” according to a news release issued by the Knesset.

Hazan has been involved in numerous scandals, among them allegedly sexually assaulting employees and allegedly taking meth and procuring prostitutes for guests at a casino he managed in Bulgaria.

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