A letter alleging that Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar was involved in an illicit affair with a subordinate was “definitely a forgery,” Israel Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino said Tuesday, adding that a final decision on the necessity of a police investigation was in the hands of Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.
The author of the letter, which was signed with the initials M.C., was ostensibly a woman who was the minister’s subordinate. According to the letter, she had an affair with Sa’ar and accuses him of having used his rank to take advantage of her. The letter also accuses the minister of having illicit relations with a drunken minor at a nightclub and of carrying on an affair with another female politician.
The woman M.C. denied writing the letter.
“Our investigation so far has shown that the document is most definitely a forgery,” Danino said. There were still some matters related to the letter that needed to be examined, the commissioner noted, after which “we’ll return to the attorney general. He’s the one who decides whether or not to investigate ministers, and we’ll wait for his decision.”
Last week, Weinstein ordered an investigation into the letter, which was sent to the Prime Minister’s Office. Besides alleging sexual misconduct, the letter also urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to not reappoint Sa’ar a minister.
Danino said police were looking into a number of testimonies and allegations that surfaced during the investigation in an effort to establish the identity of the letter’s author.
Senior sources in the Likud party last week suggested that behind the letter were rival Likud ministers who were trying to tarnish Sa’ar’s bright political future.
Sa’ar placed second in the Likud primaries, and entered the Knesset from the third spot on the party’s joint slate with the Yisrael Beytenu party. He ran the Likud-Beytenu election campaign, which saw the allied list garner only 31 seats, 11 fewer than the Likud and Yisrael Beytenu held between them in the outgoing Knesset. Sa’ar was the notable subject of criticism for ostensibly running a poor operation, and reportedly discomfited Netanyahu because his supporters referred to him during the campaign season as “Israel’s next prime minister.”
Sa’ar, 46, was divorced last summer and is now in a high-profile relationship with TV news anchor Geula Even.
Michal Shmulovich contributed to this report.