Netanyahu likely to be charged with bribery: Alsheich

In response to a claim made earlier today by the legal defense team working for the Prime Minister the former police chief said "I never leaked anything from the investigations."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Police Chief Roni Alsheich (photo credit: EMIL SALMAN/POOL AND BAZ RATNER/REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Police Chief Roni Alsheich
Former police commissioner Roni Alsheich said on Sunday that it is difficult to envision a situation where the attorney-general will not file a bribery indictment against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Speaking at the annual Institute for National Security Studies Conference in Tel Aviv, Alsheich, who left office last month, said that at the end of the day, “It’s hard to believe there will not be an indictment for bribery. Legal interpretation has a certain range, at the end of the day the facts are before us.”
Alsheich said that Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit “will work according to the professional parameters that obligate him, that is what I believe. I have seen him at decision-making points [in the past], and I have no doubt that the evidence will speak for itself.”
Alsheich said that the police have already made their statement on the matter by recommending an indictment.
The former police commissioner dismissed Likud charges that the police had “cooked up” a case against Netanyahu, and was responsible for leaking material from the investigations.
“I never leaked anything from the investigations and reporters know this,” he said.
Alsheich stressed that the police does not initiate investigations against public figures, rather that is left to the attorney-general and the state prosecutor. The role of the police is to see whether a suspicion is a “cloud or something specific and significant,” he said.
Alsheich said that he was the subject of threats during the investigations, but did not elaborate.
The Likud responded that “Alsheich is once again repeating his lie that Netanyahu sent private investigators against police investigators.”
“When a former police chief believes such a delusional comparison, who can expect a fair process?” Netanyahu’s party asked.
The party also accused Alsheich of “joining the pressure from the Left of the attorney-general to indict Netanyahu.”
Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich responded that “when Netanyahu describes as a leftist someone who wears a kippah, lived in Judea and Samaria, studied at the Mercaz Harav yeshiva and who he himself appointed, it reveals who is truly paranoid and who really spreads conspiracies: Netanyahu, not Alsheich.”
In a related development, Netanyahu’s lawyers sent a letter to Mandelblit on Sunday accusing law enforcement officials of illegally leaking documents against him 122 times, regarding his public corruption cases.
Mandelblit’s office declined to comment.
The letter from lead lawyer Navot Tel Zur said that, “this is a blatant case where quantity transformed into quality” and that the volume and constancy of leaks has infected the criminal investigation at its core.
Further, he said that the number of leaks indicated that they have become a disturbing norm for law enforcement.
Tel Zur’s letter comes after a similar letter he sent to Mandelblit last week where he demanded the attorney-general order a criminal probe into the anti-Netanyahu evidence, since unflattering details were being leaked nearly daily, allegedly by law enforcement.
Netanyahu’s spokesman did not produce a list of the leaks. However, recent weeks have seen numerous leaks of a variety of anti-Netanyahu evidence relating to his public corruption cases, from text messages to diary notes.
In last week’s letter, the prime minister’s defense team argued that it was not only unfair but criminal for law enforcement to be leaking such details relating to Netanyahu’s public corruption cases to the public and the media.
Mandelblit has not yet replied to last week’s letter either.
The attorney-general is expected to announce an intent to indict Netanyahu for bribery and other crimes sometime before February 21, when political party lists close for the upcoming elections.
Gil Hoffman, Alon Einhorn and Hagay Hacohen contributed to this report.