Netanyahu facing investigation over alleged corruption
Yaron Steinbuch, NY Post, Dec 28 2016
Bibi is facing a criminal probe into charges of bribery and fraud, according to reports. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit ordered the head of police investigations to open the probe into allegations of bribe-taking and aggravated fraud, Israel’s Channel 10 reported. The prime minister will be investigated for two separate cases, campaign donations and a Defense Ministry deal to buy submarines from Germany, and will be summoned for questioning by police in the coming days, according to reports. The Justice Ministry declined to comment Wednesday on the Channel 10 report. The PMO spox denied the allegations, telling Channel Two:
This is absolutely false. It’s all nonsense. Since Netanyahu’s victory in the last elections and even before, hostile elements have used heroic efforts to attempt to bring about his downfall, with false accusations against him and his family. There was nothing and there will be nothing.
Police recently received new documents in connection with a secret probe of Netanyahu that began almost nine months ago, Channel 2 reported Tuesday. Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich in June approved the secret probe by the Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit, but demanded full cooperation on secrecy, the Times of Israel ported. The attorney general also instructed workers in the state prosecutor’s office to look into allegations that Netanyahu accepted €1m (about $1.1m) from accused French fraudster
Arnon Minraud Arnaud Mimran in 2009. Mimran, who is serving eight years in prison for carbon-tax fraud, claimed during his trial to have donated the money to Netanyahu during the 2009 Israeli election campaign, the (so-called) ‘Independent’ of London reported. Netanyahu has steadfastly denied the allegation. He did admit to accepting $40k from Mimran in 2001, the paper reported. In May, State Comptroller Yosef Shapira submitted a critical report on Netanyahu’s foreign trips from 2003 to 2005 as finance minister, some of which were taken with his wife and children. In an apparently unrelated case this month, there were calls for Netanyahu to be investigated for his role in a Defense Ministry deal to buy subs from a German company partly owned by the Iranian government. Allegations surfaced last month that Netanyahu may have been swayed in the decision by business ties his personal counsel, David Shimron, had with the sub’s builder, Messrs Thyssen & Krupp, the paper reported. Netanyahu and Shimron have denied any wrongdoing, the Independent reported. Netanyahu said:
Increasing the security and strength of the state of Israel is the only consideration that guided me in acquiring the submarines.
Parts of the defense establishment, including former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, opposed the purchase.