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Benjamin Netanyahu says corruption probe is a 'witch hunt'

On Thursday Israeli police revealed they suspect the country’s Prime Minister of being involved in bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two cases

    Benjamin Netanyahu
    Benjamin Netanyahu

    Benjamin Netanyahu has rebuffed corruption allegations in a court document accidentally leaked to the public.

    On Thursday Israeli police revealed they suspect the country’s Prime Minister of being involved in bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two cases.

    In a statement, Mr Netanyahu’s office said: “The witch hunt to topple the Government is in full swing but it will fail because of this simple reason: There will be nothing because there was nothing.”

    It was reported on Friday by the Jerusalem Post that Mr Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, Ari Harow, has agreed to testify in the probe.

    Mr Harow worked in various capacities for the prime minister from 2006, when he was head of American Friends of Likud, and it is alleged he helped fund the salaries of members of Mr Netanyahu’s staff while he was opposition leader.

    After Mr Netanyahu returned to power in 2009, Mr Harow worked as bureau chief at the prime minister’s office, leaving to set up a private consulting firm. He returned in 2013 to serve as chief of staff. 

    Police have been investigating Mr Harow since late 2015 over allegations of fraud. He is suspected of organising a fictitious sale of his firm for millions of shekels.

    No charges have been filed against Mr Harow.

    The probe into Mr Netanyahu involves two separate cases. The first relates to whether expensive gifts given to him by an Australian billionaire and a Hollywood mogul amount to an illegal conflict of interest.

    The second revolves around an allegation that Mr Netanyahu sought favourable coverage from the Yediot Acharonot newspaper in exchange for legislation which would have disadvantaged a rival newspaper.

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