PM denies dropping request to confront state’s witnesses during probes

Police also said that after his second request for a confrontation, they replied they could grant him a confrontation, but that he did not follow up with them.

By
January 10, 2019 02:53
1 minute read.
Alshich during his tenure as chief of staff with Netanyahu

Alshich during his tenure as chief of staff with Netanyahu. (photo credit: FLASH90)

 
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a report that he had dropped a request to confront the state’s witnesses against him in his three corruption cases.

Hadashot News reported late Wednesday that police said that during his interrogation, though Netanyahu requested a confrontation with the state’s witnesses accusing him of crimes, he later asked to first speak to his lawyers and essentially dropped the issue.

According to the report, police also said that after his second request for a confrontation, they replied they could grant him a confrontation, but that he did not follow up with them.

If true, the report would undermine Netanyahu’s claim that he had requested a confrontation and the police had denied his request.

However, The Jerusalem Post has learned that even if Netanyahu asked to speak to his lawyers before the police responded to his confrontation request, his narrative is that he later renewed the request and never dropped the issue.

If this part of Netanyahu’s narrative is true, then the leak to Hadashot would not undermine his claim.

Asked for a response, the Justice Ministry said it would not add to its Monday response that the issue was not an appropriate one for public debate while the case is still pending.

The police did not respond.


As a matter of law, the police are not required to give a suspect a confrontation when requested.

In that light, the apparent leak to Hadashot appeared to be an attempt by police officials to take on Netanyahu in the public relations sphere more than in the legal sphere.

In a televised declaration Monday night, Netanyahu called for a confrontation with the state’s witnesses against him in his three corruption cases.

“During the investigations, I demanded a confrontation with the state’s witnesses,” Netanyahu said. “I wanted to look them in the eyes and show them the truth. I asked twice and was rejected.

“What do they have to be afraid of? What are they hiding? I am not afraid. I do not have anything to hide. Therefore, tonight, I repeat my demand for a confrontation with state’s witnesses.... I am certain that I am right,” he stated.

Lahav Harkov contributed to this story.

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