Mazuz won't open probe into Netanyahu trip

Attorney-General: We don't have sufficient evidence; emphasized this does not mean Bibi wasn't unethical.

mazuz 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
mazuz 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz announced Monday that he did not have sufficient evidence to justify opening a criminal investigation into opposition leader Likud MK Binyamin Netanyahu's August 2006 trip to London. The Ometz watchdog group submitted a request to Mazuz to probe the visit after a Channel 10 report in mid-March claimed that the former prime minister had gone on an elaborate all-expenses-paid speaking trip during which he and his wife spent NIS 131,000 of donated funds. In response, Netanyahu submitted a NIS 2 million lawsuit against the popular television station for broadcasting "a defamation that included lies and false information, half truths and distortions." Netanyahu said he had been asked to go on an intensive information campaign to counter Arab propaganda during the Second Lebanon War. The report said Israel Bonds had paid Sara Netanyahu's first class fare of NIS 44,000. Itemized costs listed by the program included NIS 12,000 per night for the hotel suite, NIS 17,000 in meals, NIS 11,000 for theater tickets, NIS 4,000 for laundry service and NIS 2,500 for hairstyling. After a brief probe, Mazuz determined that there was insufficient evidence to justify opening a criminal case but emphasized that this did not mean that Netanyahu had not been unethical on the trip.