Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Knesset cabinet meeting.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
According to a Friday night Channel 2 report, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to undergo an investigation under caution, as part of a probe into a wider, unspecified investigation surrounding alleged money-laundering.
Members of his family too are likely to be investigated.
The report follows Thursday's investigation of Ari Harow, Netanyahu's former chief of staff, who was placed under a five day house arrest following questioning.
According to Channel 2, Harow's latest investigation differed from his December 2015 probe in that the earlier one focused on his personal dealings, whereas the recent one dealt with issues pertaining to Netanyahu.
Police spent half the time asking Harow about his fund-raising work for Netanyahu as his bureau chief from 2009 to 2010, and as the head of American Friends of the Likud prior to that. Investigators reportedly tried to get him to reveal incriminating information on Netanyahu by questioning Harow under caution after initially asking him for testimony as a witness.
Following Harow's investigation, media reports claimed that police had summoned another former Netanyahu aide who was reportedly also involved in fund-raising on the prime minister’s behalf. Additional officials who worked in the Prime Minister’s Office are expected to be questioned as the investigation continues.
While the probe into Netanyahu's fund-raising dealings are sourced locally and mostly internal, there are some external influences.
Channel 2 reported that a family member of Shlomo Rechnitz, an American businessman and documented donor for Netanyahu, became entangled in a US based probe surrounding personal dealings. FBI investigations into the affairs of the Rechnitz family member revealed a connection to Netanyahu.
This discovery, Channel 2 reported, transforms the Netanyahu investigation into a tri-national probe, with loose strings in Israel, the US, and France.
Due to the global magnitude and nature of this probe, Netanyahu's investigation will likely be a lengthy one, and may involve FBI cooperation.