Police deny PM uncooperative in corruption probe

Lapidot: We need to remember that the prime minister is a busy man with a country to run

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October 26, 2017 20:20
2 minute read.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusa

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Despite reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is avoiding police questioning amid an acrimonious corruption probe, a police spokeswoman said Wednesday that Netanyahu is attempting to accommodate the investigation despite his busy schedule.

The conflict came to a head earlier this month when police accused Netanyahu of undermining the rule of law by “baselessly” alleging that it’s responsible for what he deemed “a tsunami of leaks” to the press about ongoing investigations against him.
The prime minister specifically took to task Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich for allegedly failing to follow through on his pledge to prevent leaks stemming from the internal probes.

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Netanyahu also blamed Lior Horev, whom he said was unfairly appointed as an external adviser for the police, for the alleged leaks.

The following day, the police issued a statement denying all allegations of interference.

“The Israel Police is doing its work in accordance with the law and the State, and we will not be dragged into baseless attacks designed to disrupt the work of the police and undermine the legitimacy of the rule of law,” it said.

On Wednesday, Police spokeswoman Merav Lapidot made it clear that the Prime Minister’s Office is cooperating in full with the investigation, despite the public feud.

“We have no difficulty in coordinating a date with the prime minister for questioning,” Lapidot told Ynet.



“We need to remember that the prime minister is a busy man with a country to run, and we’re aware of this. The investigators will arrive at the prime minister’s residence at a time coordinated with him.”

Lapidot also denied the purported police leaks.

“We don’t talk about investigations to the media,” she said. “We see all sorts of things being reported in the media, which reportedly came out of the investigation rooms, and we know they have no shred of truth in them. They’re just media spins.”
Lapidot continued: “The Israel Police has been doing serious and substantial work over the past year and a half to prevent leaks in every way possible. We think it is improper and unethical.”

Moreover, noting that some 200 suspects are being investigated in the probes, Lapidot suggested the leaks may have been made by the attorneys representing them.

“Suspects consult with their attorneys [and] some of the lawyers could also leak some of the information,” she said.

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