Police Call for Criminal Probe into Netanyahu*
Police have called for a full-blown criminal investigation into a corruption case involving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to a report aired by Israel’s Channel 2 on Monday, police have recently gained access to a new document in a secret case which was opened some nine months ago.
After receiving the documentation of receiving bribes and engaging in aggravated fraud, police called on Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to permit the operating of a full criminal probe into Netanyahu’s affairs.
The investigation was initially started in June after Police Chief Roni Alsheich green-lighted it on the condition of full secrecy and a block out on media coverage.
One of the Israeli premier’s spokespersons has dismissed all the allegations as “nonsense.”
“Since Netanyahu’s victory in the last elections and even before, hostile elements have used heroic efforts to attempt to bring about [Netanyahu’s] downfall, with false accusations against him and his family. This [latest attempt] is absolutely false. There was nothing and there will be nothing,” added the spokesperson.
In June, Israel’s attorney general ordered a criminal investigation into possibly non-reported millions in funds transferred by French fraudster Arnaud Mimran to Netanyahu during the 2009 elections.
Earlier in May, an Israeli watchdog cited a “fear of criminality” over a case involving the prime minister and his family when he was the finance minister over a decade ago.
The report by the Israeli comptroller said Netanyahu received funding from private organizations and donors for family travels between 2003 and 2005.
The payments were made by “foreign entities,” mainly U.S.-based broker-dealer Israel Bonds that underwrites Israeli debt securities.
The Netanyahu family has long faced scrutiny over accusations that their lifestyles are out of touch with regular Israelis. Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, has also come under fire for her lavish tastes and abusive behaviour toward staff members.