Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, is apparently facing a detailed criminal investigation on charges of bribery and fraud. The police have been investigating the allegations for nearly 9 months and now believe they have gathered enough evidence to launch a full investigation, according to the Independent.
Israeli attorney general Avichai Mandelblit has now ordered the police to open the investigations of the allegations against Benjamin Netanyahu, as was stated in the Guardian yesterday.
This is not the first time allegations have been made against the Israeli prime minister. Benjamin Netanyahu has previously denied any wrongdoing when purchasing submarines from Germany, where there may have been a possible conflict of interest concerning his lawyer, according to Reuters.
Although still vague in its specific details, the investigation will reportedly look into instances of alleged acceptance of bribes and aggravated fraud. However, Mr. Netanyahu denies all allegations.
In the Independent, a spokesman for the Israeli prime minister stated the whole thing is “all nonsense.” He went on to say Benjamin Netanyahu’s enemies have sought to take him and his family down ever since he won the last election. According to the spokesman, this most recent attempt is utterly false and will come to nothing.
The prime minister and his family have been subject to many allegations over the past several decades. In 1997, though prosecutors stressed they had a “tangible suspicion” Benjamin Netanyahu played a significant role in the scandal, the prime minister was not charged with his choice of attorney general due to apparent lack of evidence. According to the Guardian, Netanyahu’s reaction was that he had erred in his selection, but still had not commited any crime.
In addition, there have been many allegations concerning use of public funds in Benjamin Netanyahu’s family. In 2000, when he was between appointments as prime minister, Israeli police suggested charging Mr. Netanyahu with corruption due to allegations both he and his wife had benefitted from over $70,000 worth of state gifts. However, the attorney general would not do so at the time, claiming there were “difficulties with the evidence,” which was not enough to go to trial.
This year, Benjamin Netanyahu did admit he had accepted thousands of euros from Arnaud Mimran, a French tycoon who has since been convicted of fraud and has been sentenced to eight years in prison. In May, it was also reported Sara Netanyahu may face charges of fraud concerning management of the prime minister’s residence. Apparently, the subject of the claims is to uncover whether any public funds were used to cover private costs.
Both Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife and his office have denied any wrongdoings. However, that has prosecutors are apparently still looking into the matter.
By Rebeccah Dean