Prime Minister Netanyahu fraud probe to go public
An Israeli official says the details of an investigation into allegations of large-scale money laundering by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be made public soon. The official, whose name was not mentioned in reports, said on Saturday that police believe that they have adequate evidence to make the probe public this week or early next week.
Some of the inquiry materials had originated in other, unrelated investigations, but they have now been linked to the money laundering case involving the Israeli prime minister. The police and the attorney general’s office think it is untenable to keep the investigation secret anymore due to its sensitivity, he said, adding that a decision was made to make an official announcement about the case.
Police have so far prevented leaks to the media concerning the probe, but there were reports of people being summoned for questioning by the police’s anti-fraud unit. Recently, Israeli media said the investigation against Netanyahu focuses on foreign funds he received after resuming office in 2009. The premier has dismissed the allegations.
Netanyahu is also implicated in a separate fraud case involving French tycoon Arnaud Mimran, who is said to have previously made unrelated donations to the Israeli premier. Earlier this week, a French court convicted Mimran of fraud and sentenced him to eight years in prison and one million euros in fines in a 2008-2009 fraud case. On Friday, Channel 10 reported that the latest police investigation into Netanyahu’s affairs involves suspicions of money laundering on a wide-scale.
The suspicion pertains to the alleged transfer of “large sums” to either Netanyahu or one of his family members and is not linked to campaign or political funding, it said. The television said the investigation may require questioning abroad, but no investigators have yet been sent out of Israel.