Netanyahu in the Dock?
07, 2017 "Information
- He’s been investigated for over a year for
alleged bribery, fraud, and breach of trust,
including for accepting about $1.1 million from
accused French fraudster Arnaud Mimran in 2009.
chief of staff and close confident for years,
Ari Harow, signed an agreement to turn state’s
witness against him. As the saying goes, he
knows where the bodies are buried.
order in place until September 17 prevents
information about the case from coming out.
Thursday, a statement from Netanyahu’s office
denied wrongdoing, “reject(ing) the unfounded
claims made against the prime minister. 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
same day, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit
said “we’re making progress.” The prosecution is
“working with police” on getting Harow to turn
suspected of bribery, fraud, breach of trust,
and money laundering. A US-born Jew, he
emigrated to Israel with his family in 1985.
first linked to financial irregularities in the
so-called Bibi Tours scandal years earlier –
involving double-billing and luxury travel
financed by foreign businessmen and groups,
without appropriate accounting and approval.
others involved were never charged with
wrongdoing. He may be sentenced to six months of
community service and fined $193,000 on breach
of trust charges in exchange for testifying
against his former boss.
Netanyahu’s trusted colleague may become his
worst enemy to save himself from harsher
punishment, including possible imprisonment.
According to former Netanyahu communications
director Yoaz Hendel, Harow “sat on the seam
between the political and the personal, between
the family of Netanyahu and the nation, between
the bureau and the home. On these seams, all the
gray episodes happened.”
Netanyahu could be charged in so-called Cases
1,000 and 2,000 – the first on suspicion of
inappropriately or illegally receiving lavish
gifts from wealthy supporters, amounting to
second case involves him getting caught
red-handed on tape, negotiating a quid pro quo
with Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes for
more favorable broadsheet coverage in return for
legislation prohibiting distribution of the free
daily Israel Hayom, YA’s main competitor, owned
by Netanyahu supporter Sheldon Adelson.
was caught on tape, saying “(i)f we can come to
an agreement (for legislation prohibiting Israel
Hayom’s free distribution), I will do all I can
to make sure you stay (in power) as long as you
want. I’m looking you in the eye, and saying
this as clearly as I can.”
State Prosecutor’s Office financial
investigations department head Avia Alef said if
the above report is true, “there is no question
that this is bribery.”
Netanyahu reportedly agreed to a quid pro quo
deal, enough under Israeli law to hold him
accountable for bribery even if no
apparently has detailed information on both
cases. He was Netanyahu’s chief of staff when
events relating to both cases were ongoing.
Friday, police recommended indicting Netanyahu.
It’s for state prosecutors to decide if charges
prosecuted and punished, it won’t be the first
time for an Israeli prime minister. After
leaving office, Ehud Olmert was convicted and
imprisoned for municipal corruption, including
taking bribes worth around $450,000, connected
to various real estate deals.
2014, he was sentenced to six years imprisonment
for bribery. In late December 2015, Israel’s
High Court reduced his sentence to 18 months –
extended to 27 months for obstruction of
mid-February 2016, he began serving his
sentence. On July 2, he was released after
serving one-third of it provided he undergo
rehabilitation and perform community service.
Netanyahu is prosecuted and convicted, he’ll
likely get off as easily, maybe avoid prison
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