Israel charges former senior politician with taking bribes, money laundering

Israel has indicted a former senior politician on charges that include taking bribes and money laundering.

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer was running to become Israel's ceremonial president last year when he dropped out over the accusations.

According to Wednesday's indictment, Ben-Eliezer allegedly received bribes from businessmen while he was a member of the Knesset to push through deals. He allegedly kept the money in cash at home without depositing it in a bank, and then purchased real estate with it. The indictment says he is accused of not disclosing all his wealth and property, violating the public's trust in him.

The 79-year-old Ben-Eliezer was a longtime politician known for his warm ties with Arab leaders, including deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Ben-Eliezer has maintained his innocence.