Netanyahu feuds with police chief ahead of corruption probe findings

Netanyahu lashed out at Israel’s chief of police as the investigation into the prime minister’s conduct approaches a critical point.

By: World Israel News Staff and AP

Ahead of an expected announcement concerning a corruption probe into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conduct, the Israeli leader lashed out at Israel’s chief of police for allegations he had made against him.

Police Chief Roni Alsheikh said on Wednesday that “powerful figures” had hired people to “sniff around” the police officers investigating Netanyahu.

Alsheikh also rebuffed as “untrue” Netanyahu’s claim that most police recommendations are eventually discarded by the attorney general.

Netanyahu responded in a Facebook post, saying Alsheikh’s comment was a “hallucinatory and false suggestion” and that “a great shadow” was cast on the entire investigation against him.

Opposition member Avi Gabbay said that Netanyahu was “acting like a criminal with his unprecedented attack on the commissioner and the police.”

“Instead of requesting that they wrap up the investigation as soon as possible, Netanyahu has chosen to attack the police commissioner, and by doing so, he is trying to dismantle peoples’ trust in the legal system,” he added.

Netanyahu has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing throughout the corruption probe, saying it was an undemocratic attempt to unseat him.

Israel media say police are expected to submit their recommendations concerning the investigation to the attorney general as early as next week.

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Netanyahu has been questioned by police on at least six occasions.

Case 1000 alleges that he received expensive gifts from rich supporters, including Israeli-born movie mogul Arnon Milchan, possibly in return for favors.

Case 2000, concerns possible collusion  between Netanyahu and Yedioth Aharonoth publisher Noni Mozes.  The prime minister allegedly proposed to use his power to weaken Yedioth’s main rival, Israel Hayom, through the passage of a law curbing the latter’s distribution in return for more positive coverage in Yedioth.

Netanyahu’s mantra throughout the probe has been that “there will be nothing, because there is nothing.”