Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former chief of staff Ari Harow.
(photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)
The fact that Ari Harow is considered to be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s closest associate clearly connects him to most of the transgressions allegedly committed by Netanyahu, according to a source close the investigations.
“Ari Harow was running the gifts apparatus, and doing so according to instructions he received,” said the source, as reported by The Jerusalem Post’s sister publication Maariv on Monday.
“He knew about every single detail… about how the Prime Minister’s Office was run, and about how Netanyahu’s household was run,” he said.
This information was clear to the investigators, the source explained, saying they were waiting for the right moment – when Harow would realize he was in trouble and show signs he was willing to cooperate with them.
“This moment arrived, and from this point, the road forward is not that long – but not short either,” the source said. “There are many loose ends to tie up and some actions are still needed to complete the investigation. Some of those actions include collecting testimonies and questioning suspects under caution, and it won’t be easy.”
report added that Dep.-Ch. Koresh Barnur, head of the National Fraud Unit, asked Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit for permission to once again question the prime minister, his wife and other political figures. The questioning, according to the report, might take place later this week or early next week.
Meanwhile, it was reported that Harow was given permission by police to leave the country for a vacation in the US.
Harow’s testimony – according to reports, but with the limitation of a court-issued gag order – sheds light on three police cases: In Case 1000 (“the Gifts Affair"), he revealed more names of people who allegedly gave gifts to Netanyahu; in Case 2000 (“the Israel HaYom
Affair”), Harow provided significant information regarding the conversations between Netanyahu and Yediot Aharonot
publisher Arnon Mozes; and Case 3000 (“the Submarine Affair”), in which Netanyahu is not a suspect, Harow provided more details, but it is still unclear what will be the nature of his testimony.
Channel 10 news reported on Monday that Harow also will be questioned regarding Case 4000, which was dubbed “the Bezeq Affair.”
On Sunday, it was reported that Harow told his associates he did not turn his back on Netanyahu, and that he does not believe his actions were criminal.
Harow’s decision to turn state’s witness is nothing like that of Shula Zaken, he told friends last week; Zaken, former prime minister Ehud Olmert’s personal secretary, testified against him and essentially doomed him by providing evidence that led to his conviction.
Harow is suspected of bribery, fraud, breach of trust and money laundering over allegations he advanced his business interests while employed at the Prime Minister’s Office.
The charges against Harow will be reduced, and he will not serve time in prison, according to his state’s witness deal. Rather, he will be sentenced to six months of community service and a NIS 700,000 fine.