Police secretly probing alleged foreign donations to Netanyahu
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Police secretly probing alleged foreign donations to Netanyahu

Investigation focuses on suspected funds given to PM by businessmen from abroad during his current term in office

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center), Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (right) and interim police chief Benzi Sau at police headquarters in Jerusalem, October 7, 2015. (Marc Israel Sellem/Pool)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center), Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (right) and interim police chief Benzi Sau at police headquarters in Jerusalem, October 7, 2015. (Marc Israel Sellem/Pool)

A secret Israel Police investigation into Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly deals with illegalities regarding suspected funds he accepted from foreign businessmen during his current run as prime minister.

According to police suspicions, reported by Channel 2 on Monday, Netanyahu made use of the money donated by businesspeople during his current term in office, which began in 2009, meaning the statute of limitations hasn’t expired.

The Israel Police probe, first reported in early June, has become an “investigation in every sense” and has involved investigators abroad, according to Channel 2 on Monday. Additional details about the case, however, still remain shrouded in secrecy.

Neither the police nor the attorney general’s office would comment on the details of the investigation. Channel 2 reported last month that it is being conducted with the cooperation of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

Last month, Mandelblit reportedly instructed employees in the state prosecutor’s office to look into allegations that Netanyahu in 2009 accepted 1 million euros (about $1.1 million) from accused French fraudster Arnaud Mimran.

Arnaud Mimran (right) and his lawyer Jean-Marc Fedida (left), arrive at the Paris courthouse on May 25, 2016. (AFP/Bertrand Guay)
Arnaud Mimran (right) and his lawyer Jean-Marc Fedida (left), arrive at the Paris courthouse on May 25, 2016. (AFP/Bertrand Guay)

Mimran is being tried in France for his alleged role in a massive fraud involving the sale of carbon credits in a case referred to in France as the “heist of the century.”

Netanyahu’s office denied that the prime minister had received an illegal donation, and accused Mimran of trying to distract attention from his own case.

In May, Israel’s state comptroller issued a critical report on Netanyahu’s foreign trips, some with his wife and children, from 2003 to 2005 when he was finance minister.

The attorney general said he would launch an immediate inspection of the allegations “in a direct and professional manner.”

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