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AG: Bibi Can’t Pick New Police Chief Due to Corruption Cases

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Reports revealed that Netanyau has met secretly with Jerusalem’s police chief Yoram Halevi

Amid reports that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has met secretly with Jerusalem’s police chief Yoram Halevi in order to replace Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit hinted on Tuesday that the prime minister could be barred from doing so.

“I request that before you begin dealing with this issue you contact me so that I can examine the aspects of conflict of interest related to MKs who are being investigated by police and can advise accordingly,” Mandelblit wrote in a letter to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan whose ministry oversees the Police.

On Thursday, Hadashot TV reported that Netanyahu has met with Jerusalem’s police chief Yoram Halevi a number of times, without Erdan knowing.

“I won’t allow anyone to give orders that aren’t through the Israel Police,” Haaretz quoted Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich, who suspect that Netanyahu is trying to replace him with Halevi.

Hadashot TV quoted associates of Halevi as saying that “Alsheich is carrying out a targeted assassination in order to portray [Halevi] as Netanyahu’s stooge.”

The Police responded in an official statement, saying “The Israel Police rejects the claims regarding conflicts or any other statements regarding the nature of the ties among senior police officers… We are again witnessing disinformation supposedly from the police commissioner or his ‘associates’”.

In February, Alsheich, whose term as Police Commissioner ends in December, recommended to indict Netanyahu for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in two corruption cases, as well as another (Case 1,000) which centers on suspicions that Netanyahu received lavish gifts from wealthy businessmen in exchange for favorable government treatment.

Netanyahu has vociferously denied any wrongdoing in any of the affairs.

The cases have fueled speculation he could be forced to step down or call an early election but Netanyahu has maintained that he is innocent and has denounced allegations against him as a media and police witch hunt.

Netanyahu will reportedly face fresh questioning in a corruption probe involving an alleged quid-pro-quo agreement with one of the country’s leading newspapers after investigators obtained new information and re-opened the investigation.

The probe, dubbed “Case 2,000” to to differentiate it from a slew of other investigations into the affairs of the Prime Minister and his inner circle, centers on an alleged arrangement with Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes to limit circulation of the newspaper’s main rival, the Sheldon Adelson-owned Israel Hayom broadsheet, in exchange for more favorable coverage.

Israeli television reports said on Thursday that the re-opening of the case was approved by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit several weeks ago, with Netanyahu, Mozes, and other key witnesses and suspects to give additional testimony after obtaining new evidence, documents, and recordings relating to legislative efforts to curb Israel Hayom’s circulation in 2014.

Edited by: JV Staff
(i24 News)

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