Netanyahu faces criminal probe over donation by fraudster


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu © AFP
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu © AFP

Israel’s attorney general has ordered a criminal investigation into allegations of corruption by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The attorney general has instructed a review of possibly non-reported millions in funds transferred by French fraudster Arnaud Mimran to Netanyahu during the 2009 elections, Israel’s Channel 10 said.

Mimran testified at a Paris court last month that he gave one million euros to Netanyahu’s election campaign.

“I financed him [Netanyahu] to the tune of about one million euros,” he said at the time.

The Israeli prime minister’s office called the claim a lie, saying Netanyahu did not receive any prohibited donation from Mimran.

Mimran is currently on trial in France for his alleged role in the massive fraud involving the sale of carbon credits in a case referred to in France as the “heist of the century.”

A joint investigation by Israeli newspaper Haaretz and the French website Mediapart published in April showed that Mimran financed vacations for Netanyahu and his family in the Alps and on the French Riviera.

The report said since the early 2000s, the Mimran family had loaned Netanyahu a spacious apartment on Avenue Victor Hugo, in the heart of Paris’ 16th Arrondissement.

Arnaud Mimran (R) arrives flanked by his lawyer at the Paris courthouse, on May 25, 2016, to attend his trial in the case of the value-added tax (VAT) fraud. (AFP photo)

Earlier in May, an Israeli watchdog cited a “fear of criminality” over a case involving the prime minister and his family when he was the finance minister over a decade ago.

The report by the Israeli comptroller said Netanyahu received funding from private organizations and donors for family travels between 2003 and 2005.

The payments were made by “foreign entities,” mainly US-based broker-dealer Israel Bonds that underwrites Israeli debt securities.

The revelations came only three months after former PM Ehud Olmert began serving a 19-month prison sentence for bribery and obstruction of justice.

Similar reports over the last few years have denounced the extensive costs of the Netanyahu family’s lavish life style.

Last year, the official watchdog revealed that Netanyahu and his wife had spent vast amounts of taxpayers’ money on food, furniture, cleaning and gardening at their residence.

Netanyahu’s wife has also come under fire for her lavish tastes and abusive behavior toward staff members.

thanks to: Presstv

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