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Barak calls ombudsman a ‘rag’ over new picks to Permits Committee

Former prime minister Ehud Barak has harsh words for new State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman for announcing the expansion of a key oversight committee that has rejected Prime Minister Netanyahu’s request to receive outside funding to foot his legal defense.

After the three members of Permits Committee resigned last week after feuding with Englman, the ombudsman announced yesterday he would expand the number of members of the committee from three to eight. A number of the new members Englman has picked for the committee reportedly have ties with Netanyahu’s Likud party.

“The wretched servant of a Netanyahu, a rag,” Barak, who is running for the upcoming elections with Democratic Camp alliance, says of Englman in an interview with Army Radio.

“A disgrace to the institution of the State Comptroller. People were appointed to the Permits Committee who themselves are in conflicts of interest,” Barak adds.

Before its previous members resigned, the Permits Committee ordered Netanyahu to return some $300,000 he received from his cousin to help pay his legal bills in a trio of graft cases he is implicated in.

According to a Channel 13 report last week, Englman lashed out at the committee members during a meeting for ordering Netanyahu to return the funds, saying they overstepped their authority.

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