Israeli Police Confirm Netanyahu Is Suspect In Fraud Investigation

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Former chief of staff signing deal with prosecutors to testify against him

Israeli police have confirmed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suspected of having committed bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

The police had also requested a gag order during ongoing talks with former chief of staff Ari Harow to become a state witness.

Talks were concluded on Friday with Harow signing a deal in which he agreed to testify according to the Guardian.

The Independent reports:

The Israeli Prime Minister is accused of offering commercial favours to a newspaper owner in return for positive coverage and of accepting bribes from a Hollywood billionaire.

Investigators have secured a gagging order as they try to persuade the politician’s former chief of staff  to testify in the cases. The order was granted and will remain in force until 17 September.

A spokesperson for Mr Netanyahu said the claims were untrue and politically-motivated, according to Haaretz.

“We completely reject the unfounded claims made against the prime minister,” they said. “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.”

Israel’s Attorney General, Avichai Mendelblit, said talks with Mr Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, Ari Harow, about acting as a witness for the state were “making progress”.

Mr Netanyahu is accused of wrongdoing in two separate cases. The first, known as Case 1000, relates to his connections to billionaire Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, who he allegedly accepted thousands of pounds worth of lavish gifts from. Reports suggest that, after receiving cigars and champagne, the Israeli Prime Minister lobbied then US Secretary of State John Kerry on Mr Milchan’s behalf while he was trying to acquire a new US visa


Niamh Harris
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