Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a suspect in two bribery and fraud cases, according to Israel Police who were granted a gag order on Thursday related to their attempts to have Netanyahu’s former top aide turn state’s witness. That witness agreed to a deal with prosecutors on Friday.
Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit said Thursday that there were criminal connections between Netanyahu, Ari Harow (his former chief of staff), a Hollywood producer, and an Israeli newspaper publisher:
The two cases mentioned in the police request are known as Case 1000, which involves Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, who was asked to purchase luxury items for Netanyahu and his wife; and Case 2000, in which Netanyahu tried to concoct a deal with Arnon Mozes, the publisher of the mass-circulation daily Yedioth Ahronoth.
The investigation stems from another case involving Harow and Netanyahu dating back to before he was Prime Minister, but after investigators found recordings of conversations between the Prime Minister and the publisher Mozes, their focus shifted.
Speaking at the country’s Supreme Court Attorney General Mendelblit said progress was being made in order to flip Harow and prosecute Netanyahu but asked reporters to “let us work in peace and find the truth.”
Netanyahu’s staff released a statement in response to the allegations that sounds like they’ve been watching a lot of White House press briefings.
“We completely reject 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 nothing.”
Al Jazeera reports that if indicted, Netanyahu would not be forced to resign but would face great pressure to do so after over a decade in office.