(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The police case against him is baseless and the attorney- general is sure to dismiss it, embattled Likud MK Oren Hazan said in a series of interviews on Wednesday.
In an appearance on a Channel 10 morning show, Hazan laughed off the complaint he physically assaulted Ariel Mayor Eliyahu Shaviro in 2014, before he became a legislator, and did some role playing with journalist Guy Meroz to recreate the incident.
According to Hazan, he approached a meeting room within Ariel City Hall and Shaviro grabbed him from behind and tried to move him out of the way and Hazan tried to push him off him with his elbow.
“That’s all there was, no pyrotechnics, no RPG or helicopter,” Hazan said.
He added that he submitted a police complaint against Shaviro first, after which a complaint was issued against him.
A police officer familiar with the case told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that Shaviro’s complaint came before Hazan’s.
Hazan’s comments on Wednesday came the day after police announced that they had finished their investigation into the complaint against the MK and that they found evidence of wrongdoing, essentially a recommendation that legal proceedings be pursued against Hazan. Since he is an MK, police cannot make the decision to indict him, but only the state can.
The case against Hazan began to be pursued in earnest after he entered the Knesset earlier this year, and since police have questioned a series of people, including Hazan himself. It is one of a number of controversies involving the young, first-time MK, most notable being a Channel 2 report from June that said that while he managed a casino in Burgas, Bulgaria, he procured prostitutes and crystal meth for Israeli tourists.
He has denied the allegations and the day after the segment aired threatened to sue Channel 2 for libel. He has yet to file any suit against the network.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon canceled his participation in the Likud’s pre-Rosh Hashana toast that took place on Tuesday evening due to the participation on stage of Hazan.
“I am not ready to take part in this masquerade ball,” Ya’alon said. “Oren Hazan shames the Likud and its values.
The time has come to say loud and clear what the majority thinks.”
Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.