Israeli Prime Minister accused again of receiving illegal funds

Israel’s state comptroller Joseph Shapira has referred a case to the Attorney-General in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received $300,000 from his cousin and tycoon Natan Milikowsky, to pay for his legal defense against public corruption charges.

Netanyahu received the funds before a special committee ruled that he is prohibited from receiving such funds. This was after he was given a preliminary sign-off by the Knesset, although the state committee remains the final authority on the issue.

Knesset State Control Committee Chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich referred the issue to Shapira last week after it was disclosed in a Haaretz report.

Shapira’s office issued a statement on Monday night that he referred the issue to Avichai Mandelblit because he was not sure if the attorney-general had been aware of the money when he first reviewed a variety of legal questions relating to the prime minister’s desire to use donations from rich individuals to pay for his legal defense.

Netanyahu’s lawyers are also seeking to appeal to the state committee’s rejection of his request to receive millions in funds from Milikowsky and businessman Spencer Partridge.

For the third time this year, the Israeli police have recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be charged with taking bribes, fraud and breach of trust.

In addition, Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, is on trial on charges that she misused some $100,000 in public funds in her management of the prime minister’s official residence in occupied Jerusalem. Prosecutors say she misspent that money on catered meals from celebrity chefs while covering up the fact that the residence already had a government-paid cook.

Source: Palestine Info Center