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    Israeli Media: Attorney General Approves Criminal Investigation Into Netanyahu

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    Israeli media is reporting that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has approved a full criminal investigation into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s financial activities.

    On Wednesday evening, Israel’s Channel 10 reported that the Prime Minister will be under investigation in two separate affairs, but did not go into detail on the focus of either one. Mandelblit’s office has neither confirmed nor denied the report.

    "When the time comes we will update authoritatively the status of the investigation," the Lahav 433 special investigations unit, widely referred to as Israel’s FBI, said in a statement.

    In June, it was reported that police chief Roni Alsheich had launched a secret investigation through the use of the Lahav 433.

    On Monday, Israeli media reported that Netanyahu was under a secret investigation for allegations of bribery. It is alleged that the Prime Minister accepted bribes in the form of donations during his 2009 campaign.

    “On Sunday, police descended on the Defense Ministry to gather information relating to a ship-building contract with Germany, as part of a probe into how negotiations for multi-billion shekel naval deals were handled,” the Times of Israel reported.

    A spokesperson for Netanyahu denied the allegations, referring to them as “nonsense.”

    “Since Netanyahu’s victory in the last elections and even before, hostile elements have made heroic efforts to attempt to bring about [Netanyahu’s] downfall, with false accusations against him and his family. This [latest attempt] is absolutely false. There was nothing and there will be nothing,” the spokesperson told Haaretz.

    Netanyahu has long been the subject of scrutiny over his financial dealings. He has previously been accused of using state funds to pay for his family’s lavish lifestyle. While there have been preliminary reviews, none had yet moved to a full criminal investigation.

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    Tags:
    Corruption, Bribery, Investigation, Lahav 433, Avichai Mandelblit, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel
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