Bribes Were Offered To Close Investigation Against Mrs. Sara Netanyahu


Leaving behind two looming bribery indictments and two other ongoing corruption investigations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will land in Washington early next month to face an administration and a pro-Israel American Jewish community that seemingly couldn't care less about his legal troubles at home.

A major new spin-off development from the newly revealed Attorney-General Job Affair came out a few hours later on Tuesday afternoon, when it was reported that the police would question Supreme Court President Esther Hayut on Tuesday night.

In a statement made on behalf of the Netanyahus, they deny the Prime Minister and his wife had any knowledge of any offer to shut the case, and certainly not at their behest.

Netanyahu can lean, however, on the ever-growing power of the right wing within the Jewish community, where his indictment is seen as a Deep State-like attempt to oust a prime minister in line with their pro-settler worldview in order to bring about elections that could lead to the victory of a centrist such as Yair Lapid, who served as a key witness against Netanyahu.

They are suspected of promoting a deal to give Netanyahu and his wife favorable coverage in Walla, a news site controlled by Bezeq, in return for the promotion of regulations worth hundreds of millions of US dollars to the telecom company.

On Monday, in a Facebook post, Netanyahu - who has described the investigations against him as a "witch hunt" - said: "There has never been any payback or illegal act in interaction with Elovitch".

"Hefetz never made such a ludicrous offer and was never asked to do so and we can not believe he would do such a thing on his own accord", a statement issued on behalf of the prime minister read.

Ultimately, Avichai Mandelblit was appointed attorney-general and took office in February 2016, but the police said that they were cracking down on the attempted bribery scheme in any case, to root out any crimes committed.

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"I never asked Nir Hefetz about this, he never spoke to me about it, and you know what?"

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves during the opening ceremony for a bomb-proof emergency room in a hospital in Ashkelon, Israel, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018.

Last week, police recommended that Netanyahu be indicted for fraud, breach of trust, and bribery in two other cases. A statement issued on Sunday by a personal spokesman to Netanyahu said all decisions related to Bezeq "were made according to recommendations of expert committees and expert officials".

Caspit alleged in his report in the centrist Maariv newspaper on Tuesday that Nir Hefetz, a longtime media adviser to Netanyahu and his family, urged an associate of a Judge Hila Gerstel to meet with her and offer her the position of attorney general if she agreed to close the investigation against Sara Netanyahu.

They were implicated in the investigation dubbed Case 4000.

According to the police, Netanyahu and his family received goods, including jewelry, cigars, and Champaign, worth about one million shekels (282,800 dollars) from Israeli businessman and Hollywood tycoon Arnon Milchan and Australian businessman James Packer. In return, police say Netanyahu had operated on Milchan's behalf on US visa matters, legislated a tax break and connected him with an Indian businessman.

Israel's police chief, Roni Alsheikh, said Tuesday that the police recommendations were coordinated with the attorney general and were handled in a professional manner.