Report: Netanyahu focus of Israel criminal probe
Think Progress reports based on a (behind-a-firewall) Haaretz story:
In what possible preview of similar issues that stand to mar President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly dodging investigators who want to question him over allegations that he used his office for personal financial gain
According to Israeli paper Haaretz, Netanyahu has been dogged by controversy since July, when Israel Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit announced his office would begin examining various allegations against the Prime Minister—including reportedly receiving gifts from business tycoons. Mendelblit maintained for months that the probe was only an inquiry, but announced Wednesday that he is upgrading it to a full-fledged criminal investigation, saying police will now be allowed to question Netanyahu.
For his part, Netanyahu has denied the alleged improprieties, which include reports that he took gifts while in office worth “hundreds of thousands of shekels (Israeli currency)” — including suits allegedly given to him by U.S. businessman Ron Lauder. (For reference, 100,000 shekels are worth approximately $25,000.) He has reportedly been deftly avoiding police all week, with officials telling local media that they are unable to find a time to meet with him for lengthy questioning.
For those not familiar with the players, Ron Lauder is a huge contributor to the GOP and a huge privatization supporter.