Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu suspected of bribery, fraud, breach of trust: police
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suspected of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, police confirmed Thursday, according to Israeli media.
Potential allegations involving Netanyahu stretch into Israeli journalism circles and even Hollywood.
Details of the investigation came out when the court issued a gag order requested by the police limiting media coverage on police attempts to recruit a former Netanyahu aide, Ari Harow, as a state’s witness, Reuters reported.
Representatives for Netanyahu issued a statement saying the allegations were false, according to Haaretz.
“We completely reject the unfounded claims made against the prime minister,” the statement read. “The campaign to change the government is underway, but it is destined to fail for a simple reason: there won’t be anything because there was nothing.”
Progress was being made in talks with Harow about becoming a state’s witness, Israeli attorney general Avichai Mendelblit said, according to Haaretz.
During a ceremony at the Israeli supreme court, he asked members of the news media to “let us work in peace and find the truth,” Haaretz reported.
There are two cases in question. One involves allegations that Netanyahu accepted luxury gifts from Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer, ABC reported. In another, Netanyahu allegedly tried to make a deal with Arnon Mozes, publisher of Yedioth Ahronoth, a daily newspaper based in Tel Aviv, to promote legislation that would hurt its main competitor, according to ABC. In exchange, the news organisation was to provide favourable coverage of the prime minister, ABC reported.
Netanyahu, 67, is serving his fourth term as prime minister.