Police launch ‘secret’ probe into new case involving PM Netanyahu

Details of investigation not publicly known; A-G expected to close 3 cases against wife Sara

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, tour Ramat Hanadiv, a nature park in northern Israel, April 25, 2016. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, tour Ramat Hanadiv, a nature park in northern Israel, April 25, 2016. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

The Israel Police recently launched a probe into an additional case involving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to Channel 2, the investigation has been kept under wraps and the details are unknown to the media.

Police Chief Roni Alsheich gave his go-ahead on the case being investigated by special police unit Lahav 433, dubbed Israel’s FBI, but has demanded full cooperation on secrecy and that no leaks be made to the media.

The case is being investigated with the cooperation of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, Channel 2 reported.

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

Mimran is currently on trial 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.”

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

According to the Channel 2 report Friday, Mandelblit was expected to close a series of cases against the prime minister’s wife, Sara — against police recommendations.

Investigators this past week had recommended that she be charged with fraud over three incidents of taking public money for personal use.

These included payment for a caregiver for her father, the purchase of patio furniture and gourmet dinners with private chefs.

Separately, on Tuesday, the Jerusalem Labor Court found Sara Netanyahu guilty of abusing her former employee, and ordered her to pay the plaintiff NIS 120,000 in damages.

Judge Dita Pruginin awarded the amount to Guy Eliyahu, a former maintenance worker who alleged he was subjected to humiliating treatment by Sara Netanyahu.

His claims included being asked to bring her food she requested, then being told he was making her gain weight.

Sara Netanyahu was also said to have called him back to the residence after midnight so he could heat a bowl of soup, as well as another night because he had not properly said goodnight.

One of her lawyers, Yossi Cohen, denied all of the accusations and said the Netanyahus planned to appeal the ruling.

Last week, the Israeli 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.

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