Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Netanyahu allies face police grilling as indictments loom

Police recommend indicting Israeli prime minister's close friend Shaul Elovitch, while others are questioned

    David Shimron, Benjamin Netanyahu's cousin and lawyer, was questioned for four straight days this week
    David Shimron, Benjamin Netanyahu's cousin and lawyer, was questioned for four straight days this week Flash90

    Legal pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intensified this week as members of his inner circle were questioned by police and in one case recommended for indictment.

    David Shimron and Yitzhak Molcho, who have served as Mr Netanyahu's personal attorneys for nearly four decades, were both questioned by police in a session that lasted three days.

    The two brothers-in-law were asked about alleged inducements to Israeli officials offered as part of the purchase of German submarines and missile-boats.

    Mr Shimron, the prime minister's cousin, has also represented Mr Netanyahu’s Likud Party in the 2015 coalition talks, while Mr Molcho served until last month as the prime minister's special diplomatic envoy.

    Questions are understood to have been asked about the involvement of Mickey Ganor, the Israeli representative of the Thyssenkrupp shipyard, who also used Mr Shimron as a lawyer, prompting allegations of a conflict of interest.

    The German government authorised the sale of three submarines to Israel last month, after receiving an official letter from Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblitt saying there was no evidence of corrupt practice by any senior official during the process.

    Mr Netanyahu is not a suspect in the case, although questions remained over how aware he was of his lawyers' involvement.

    It came as police recommended indicting one of Mr Netanyahu’s closest friends, telecommunications chief Shaul Elovitch, in a separate case of alleged fraud at Bezeq, Israel's largest telecommunications company.

    The main allegation is that Bezeq, controlled by Mr Elovitch, bought shares in satellite provider Yes for an exaggerated price. The action was authorised by the communications ministry during the period Mr Netanyahu served as minister, although he is not currently a suspect in this case.

    The decision whether to act on the police recommendation to indict will be made by Avichai Mandelblit, the attorney-general.

    Mr Mandelblit will also have to rule on the possible indictments of Mr Netanyahu in the two corruption cases concerning gifts he and his wife received from wealthy businesspeople in which he is the main suspect. The police investigations in these cases are nearly complete and the prime minister and his wife are expected to be questioned once more in the coming days.

    Mr Netanyahu continues to insist that "nothing will happen because nothing did," and that the investigations are largely due to an "unprecedented witch-hunt" by the media against him and his family.

Analysis

Did Bibi care what it looked like?

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Did Bibi care what it looked like?
Analysis

Does the Netanyahu evidence contain anything new?

Anshel Pfeffer

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Does the Netanyahu evidence contain anything new?
News Features

Where now for the Jewish state?

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Where now for the Jewish state?
Analysis

Hamas has shown how it can set the news agenda

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Hamas has shown how it can set the news agenda
Analysis

No more a shadow war

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, April 19, 2018

No more a shadow war
Israel

Israeli Labour Party suspends ties with Corbyn

Michael Daventry

Anshel Pfeffer

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Israeli Labour Party suspends ties with Corbyn
Analysis

End of Iran deal was Bibi’s moment in the sun

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, May 10, 2018

End of Iran deal was Bibi’s moment in the sun
Israel

IDF seeks non-lethal measures to keep Gazans from border fence

Anshel Pfeffer

Monday, April 16, 2018

IDF seeks non-lethal measures to keep Gazans from border fence
Israel

Israel and the Palestinians gear up for weeks of confrontations

Anshel Pfeffer

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Israel and the Palestinians gear up for weeks of confrontations