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Israel: Likud officials suspected of harassing witnesses in case against Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 28 October 2018 [ODED BALILTY/AFP/Getty Images]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [ODED BALILTY/AFP/Getty Images]

Likud party officials are suspected of harassing Shlomo Filber, a state witness in one of the corruption cases against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reported Haaretz.

The Likud officials “questioned in recent days by the police’s anti-corruption unit” include Netanyahu and party spokesperson Jonathan Orich and Netanyahu media adviser, Ofer Golan, said the paper.

According to Haaretz, “the investigation was opened following a complaint that during one of this year’s two election campaigns a car was parked outside Filber’s home.”

Then, using a loudspeaker, the car’s occupants allegedly called out to Filber to “come out” and “tell the truth”, along with “what did they do to you to make you lie against the prime minister? What did they promise you?” and “the left is using you to bring down Likud”.

The specific case is known as Case 4000, “in which Netanyahu is suspected of bribery, fraud and breach of trust for taking steps that benefited Bezeq telecommunications shareholder Shaul Elovitch in return for favourable coverage on Bezeq’s Walla news site.”

Netanyahu’s political and personal reputation is in shreds

Filber was Communications Ministry director general under Netanyahu and “was arrested last year on suspicion of promoting Bezeq’s interests from within the ministry”, noted the paper.

“He signed a state’s evidence agreement and told the police that his actions were based on Netanyahu’s orders. He said Netanyahu urged him to fire the ministry’s deputy director general.”

Attorney Amit Hadad, acting on behalf of Golan, issued a statement rejecting the allegations.

“While Mr. Golan is forbidden from commenting on the issue so as not to obstruct the investigation, investigation materials are being illegally leaked,” Hadad said. “We have no doubt that the case against him will be closed. Mr. Golan has never harassed Filber or any other state witness.”

Netanyahu himself also issued a statement, denouncing the claims as a “scandal” aimed at “neutralizing the prime minister’s ability to fight for public opinion as a flood of leaked investigation materials harms his close associates.”

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