Housing Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu) on Saturday cast doubt on the months-long corruption investigation into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s actions, saying any possible indictment recommendation from the police would mean very little.
“Who says that police recommendations are accurate?” Galant asked during a cultural event in Hadera.
“I have great appreciation for the police,” Galant said, before noting however that they too make mistakes.
“If we want a democratic state, we have to live in a state ruled by law and that means the judiciary,” he said. “It’s inconceivable that police recommendations become a Mark of Cain without anything being proven or without the ability to defend oneself in court.”
Earlier this week, State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan hinted that police were wrapping up their investigations and would make their recommendations in the coming weeks.
Netanyahu is facing two separate criminal investigations, known as Case 1000 and Case 2000. The prime minister has been questioned by police at least seven times since the probes began.
Case 1000 revolves around alleged illicit gifts given to Netanyahu and his family by billionaire benefactors, most notably from Israeli film producer Arnon Milchan. In Case 2000, Netanyahu is suspected of conducting a clandestine quid-pro-quo deal with Yedioth Ahronoth publisher and owner Arnon “Noni” Mozes, in which the prime minister was said to have promised Mozes he would hobble Yedioth’s main commercial rival, the freebie Israel Hayom, in exchange for more favorable coverage from Yedioth.
Netanyahu, who has denied wrongdoing in both cases and alluded to unfair treatment by police, has indicated he does not intend to step down, regardless of what police recommend.
“If there will be recommendations [to indict] — so what?” Netanyahu told a rally of Likud members last month. “Here’s a fact I doubt the public knows: the vast majority of police recommendations end with nothing. More than 60 percent of police recommendations are thrown out.”
Earlier this week, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, head of the Kulanu party, reportedly told confidants that he would not resign if police recommended charges against Netanyahu.
A December poll found that a majority of Israelis think Netanyahu should resign if police recommend that he be indicted.