PM Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss on Monday warned ministers not to receive funding from foreign donors for flights abroad in the wake of a pending investigation into Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's unethical financing of foreign flights.
RELATED:Lindenstrauss to probe complaints that PM was unethical
Israeli media reports on Monday claimed that Lindenstrauss' intention to investigate claims against Netanyahu's unethical financing of foreign flights is forbidden because of a conflict of interest.
Last week it was announced that Lindenstrauss would carry out an initial examination into a number of complaints received claiming that Netanyahu behaved unethically and utilized a carefully crafted network of wealthy associates to finance private flights. The initial report regarding Netanyahu's conduct was broadcast on "Makor," a Channel 10 investigative reporting program earlier last week.
In the near future Lindenstrauss will have to decide whether there is enough comprehensive evidence within the leaked publications to open an investigation, Army Radio reported.
According to the "Makor" report, Netanyahu utilized a carefully crafted
network of wealthy associates to finance private flights, luxury hotel
suites, first-class restaurants, and trips abroad for him and his
Netanyahu worked diligently after his first term as prime minister ended
in 1999 to build a cohort of wealthy associates, which often subsidized
completely the Netanyahu family's outings abroad, the report said.
"There's a problem the the state comptroller's authority - he will find
it difficult to carry out an independent review," said Raviv Drucker,
who exposed the affair during an interview with Army Radio.
"Lindenstrauss can ask for documentation from the Knesset, but can not
raid the travel agencies of the foreign donors and obtain all the
documents, for example," he explained. "Only the police can do such a
thing, and is the only body that can carry out an effective
investigation - if it is decided that the issue deserves an
investigation, of course," he stressed.