Netanyahu faces criminal probe, denies allegations

Netanyahu will be questioned in the coming days on allegations of breach of trust and illegal gifts. He denies any wrongdoing.

A formal criminal probe concerning allegations against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to begin this week.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit notified Netanyahu about two weeks ago that police were authorized to launch an investigation against him, which would begin soon.

The main allegations are breach of trust and the accepting of illegal gifts. There are no known suspicions of bribery.

The exact extent and scope of the allegations are unclear.

According to a report on Channel 2 Thursday evening, Netanyahu is suspected of receiving benefits in large sums from two businessmen.

Netanyahu’s office reacted to the news by stating that previous criminal investigations against him had led to nothing and that all the allegations were proven to be fabrications, adding that it will be no different this time around.

“We reiterate, there was nothing, because there is nothing. All these so-called scandals have turned out to be baseless, and the same will be regarding the allegations published in the media now,” the statement said.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, told Israel Radio on Friday that he has no doubt the investigation will amount to nothing. He is concerned, however, about what he describes as “undemocratic behavior” by political opponents in an “orchestrated campaign” to unseat the prime minister, adding that unprecedented pressure is being put on the attorney-general by the media.

Tzachi Hanegbi, Minister for Regional Cooperation, in agreement with Levin, said the investigation is “part of a war of attrition…in the hope that he [the attorney general] will open yet another investigation.”

The left has “already despaired of winning the trust of the voters,” and is now hoping to oust the Israeli leader through the legal system with false charges, Hanegbi said.

“The fact that leaders and prime ministers can be prosecuted, if necessary, is a cleansing process [to get rid] of the corruption that has spread in Israeli politics,” Knesset Member Tzipi Livni, the Zionist Union party’s number two, told IDF Radio, defending the investigation.

By: World Israel News Staff