Netanyahu is named a suspect in fraud investigations

Harlow was Netanyahu's chief of staff in 2008-2010 and in 2014-2015. He resigned in 2015 amid allegations of using his ties to Netanyahu to unlawfully advance his private interests.
By Leon Clarke | Aug 09, 2017
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now officially a suspect in two investigations alleging "fraud, breach of trust, and bribes." Detectives working on the cases revealed Netanyahu's suspect designation Thursday in court papers before securing a deal Friday with Ari Harow, Netanyahu's former chief of staff, who agreed to testify against the prime minister.

These investigations and several others have been ongoing for several months, but Thursday's announcement was the first time that investigators have directly implicated Netanyahu in the scandals. Charges have until now only been leveled against his associates.

In July, Israeli police arrested David Shimron, Netanyahu's cousin and attorney, in connection with corruption charges pertaining to a $2 billion sale of submarines and naval patrol craft from Germany to Israel. Detectives may use Harow's testimony in two other investigations: one concerning household costs in the prime minister's residence and illicit gifts that the prime minister and his wife may have received from billionaires; and a second case looking into whether Netanyahu has unduly tried to sway media coverage.

Harlow was Netanyahu's chief of staff in 2008-2010 and in 2014-2015. He resigned in 2015 amid allegations of using his ties to Netanyahu to unlawfully advance his private interests.

Netanyahu's office denied all of the allegations and blamed them on political enemies with personal vendettas against Netanyahu: "We completely reject the unfounded claims made against the prime minister. The campaign to change the government is under way, but it is destined to fail, for a simple reason: there won't be anything because there was nothing," it said in a statement.

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