Close Netanyahu associate said under house arrest for sex offenses
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Close Netanyahu associate said under house arrest for sex offenses

‘Very senior‘ former official in PM‘s bureau questioned under caution, accused of violence, sexual assault of artist

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the close associate accused of violence and sexual assault against an artist (Screenshot, Channel 2 News).
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the close associate accused of violence and sexual assault against an artist (Screenshot, Channel 2 News).

A close associate of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who occupied one of the most senior positions in the PM’s bureau, has been put under house arrest on suspicion of sex offenses and violence against a woman, Channel 2 News reported Wednesday.

The woman, an artist, filed charges around six weeks ago after being invited to perform at a conference, which was also attended by the suspect, whose name has not been released.

It was not immediately clear when the alleged incident occurred or if it happened while the suspect was working in Netanyahu’s office.

She claimed he suggested giving her a lift back to the city where they both live, and during the journey, sat next to her on the back seat, plied her with alcohol, and touched her against her will, Channel 2 said.

The man allegedly took her to an apartment where there were other men, forced her to perform for them, and tried to kiss her against her will.

Lawyer Gil Fridman, who is defending a close associate of the Netanyahus against accusations of violence and sexual assault, November 2016. (YouTube screenshot)
Lawyer Gil Fridman, who is defending a close associate of the Netanyahus against accusations of violence and sexual assault, November 2016. (YouTube screenshot)

The case has been under police investigation for more than a month. On Tuesday, the man was questioned under caution and ordered to house arrest for five days.

His lawyer, Gil Fridman, told Channel 2 that the claims were “baseless.”

This is not the first time the Prime Minister’s Office has been hit by such scandal. In 2012 Natan Eshel, head of the Prime Minister’s Bureau, was forced to step down amid allegations of sexual misconduct; specifically that he had used a surreptitiously placed camera to film under the skirt of a female colleague. He was also accused of accessing her private emails.

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