Shapira to investigate PM over foreign trips

State Comptroller to probe minister's controversial expenses.

State Comptroller Joseph Shapira 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
State Comptroller Joseph Shapira 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
State Comptroller Joseph Shapira announced on Wednesday that he will hold meetings next week to investigate the financial controversies surrounding Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as well as other public officials relating to their foreign trips.
It was unclear what the scope of the investigation would be and what aspects it would add to ongoing investigations, but it was expected to include all of the latest developments in everything from the “Bibi Tours” affair to the general jump in the prime minister’s expenses to “Bedgate.”
Reportedly, Shapira had asked Netanyahu’s office for clarifications in recent days regarding the allegations.
Shapira is waiting for legal advice from Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein as to which aspects of investigating the prime minister’s finances are within his authority.
The Bibi Tours affair involves the prime minister’s allegedly problematic flights funded by wealthy associates from late 1990s to the early 2000s.
The Bed-gate scandal is connected to Netanyahu’s alleged penchant for overdone expensive travel.
Next, it was made public that the his expenses have jumped 80 percent from 2009 to 2012.
For Netanyahu’s flight to the UK for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral last month, the Prime Minister’s Office requested that a double bed be installed, costing taxpayers $127,000.
The Bibi-Tours affair has been on pause since February when Netanyahu and 30 other ministers and deputy ministers submitted their responses to a draft of the State Comptroller’s Report on the matter.
The draft reportedly reviewed allegations of improper funding and double billing for international trips Netanyahu and other top officials took.