Israel: PM says corruption insinuations are a left-wing plot against him


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting on July 9, 2017. (Ohad Zweigenberg/Flash90)
As probes into Netanyahu’s confidants reverberate around him, his political allies insist on his innocence.

BY Stuart Winer and TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday told a gathering of his political allies that a series of corruption allegations linked to him and his associates are the consequence of “a coordinated campaign of leftists who want to undermine my government.”

In a meeting with cabinet ministers and lawmakers viewed as his closest allies, the prime minister insisted that he has “evidence for everything.”

“It’s all lies,” he reportedly said, in the closed-door meeting, of the various scandals to which he is being linked.

Netanyahu was referring, in particular, to the fast-escalating “Case 3000” inquiry into alleged corruption in the purchase of German-made naval boats and submarines for the IDF, and a new state comptroller report that alleges violations of transparency rules related to regulating the Bezeq telecom giant.

Netanyahu is not officially a suspect in the submarines affair, but his long-time attorney David Shimron and other associates are. Shimron has been questioned for several successive days. Similarly, there are no criminal suspicions directed at the prime minister in the Bezeq report, but the state watchdog did accuse the prime minister of failing to disclose his close ties with Bezeq head Shaul Elovitz in time to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest while he was also serving as minister of communications.

“I’ve been wronged by the media. They’re trying to connect my name with two investigations that have nothing to do with me — Elovitz and the submarines,” Netanyahu said.

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