Netanyahu Off the Hook on Multiple Charges?
Previous articles discussed them. He’s been investigated for over two years for alleged bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.
Reportedly he accepted about $1.1 million from accused French fraudster Arnaud Mimran in 2009.
He faces possible charges in so-called Cases 1,000 and 2,000 - the first on suspicion of inappropriately or illegally receiving lavish gifts from wealthy supporters, amounting to possible bribes.
The second case involves him getting caught red-handed on tape, negotiating a quid pro quo with Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes for more favorable broadsheet coverage in return for legislation prohibiting distribution of the free daily Israel Hayom, YA’s main competitor, owned by Netanyahu supporter Sheldon Adelson.
Former State Prosecutor’s Office financial investigations department head Avia Alef said if the above report is true, “there is no question that this is bribery.”
Police earlier recommended indicting Netanyahu. It’s for state prosecutors to decide if charges are warranted - none formally issued so far, likely none forthcoming.
On Tuesday, Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said no case exists to prosecute Netanyahu for bribery and/or other charges, a shocking claim, suggesting whitewash.
He warned against proceeding with prosecution, saying the case will be dismissed for lack of evidence, the prosecutor and judicial system discredited.
There’s plenty Mandelblit is sweeping under the rug. He lied absolving Netanyahu of bribery, fraud, or any other improper behavior, instead of supporting prosecution.
Reportedly he’s willing to accept a breach of trust charge alone, a minor offense compared to the more serious ones, at most a misdemeanor, not enough to remove Netanyahu from office and imprison him.
Following Mandelblit’s announcement, police commander Ronnie Ritman, heading the Netanyahu investigation, resigned.
Former prime minister Ehud Barak, a vocal Netanyahu critic, issued a blistering statement saying:
“The big whitewash has begun. Channel 2 revealed that the attorney general is scared that if Netanyahu is acquitted, he will be forced to kill himself. What nonsense.”
“Everlasting shame will be the lot of anyone who whitewashes (the truth about Netanyahu) everyone knows without waiting for a trial to prove it.”
“The attorney general is spineless. He is a safe formula for letting the country sink into corruption and down the slippery slope to the ‘third world.’ ”
“Instead of offering convoluted arguments and his own fear, Mandleblit should recuse himself from handling the Netanyahu dossiers. It’s all too much for him.”
For over a year, thousands of Netanyahu critics have been holding weekly protests against the “crime minister,” demanding his prosecution and removal from office.
What seemed almost certain now appears remote. Crime in high places pays well.
Palestinians wanting to live free from Israeli viciousness have the book thrown at them - imprisoned for their justifiable nonviolent activism against a ruthless rogue state.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."