Kadima to AG: Probe Netanyahu over allegedly corrupt travel funds
The allegations against prime minister, aired by Israeli news Channel 10 on Wednesday, claim the prime minister continued to accept private sponsorship for flights even after his return to politics in 2003.
The Kadima opposition party submitted a request to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein on Thursday, asking him to investigate allegations that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife had taken trips abroad funded by private businessmen.
These allegations were aired by Israeli news Channel 10 on Wednesday. According to the report, the prime minister allegedly continued to accept private sponsorship for flights even after he returned to politics as a member of Knesset and finance minister in 2003.
Kadima issued a statement emphasizing that the "exposure of this corrupt and systematic behavior of forbidden ties and moral depravity as a member of government displayed by the prime minister and his wife borders is despicable and proves unequivocally that the government of Israel is headed by a guilty man."
The opposition party alleged that Netanyahu "does not distinguish between good and bad, what is permissible and what is forbidden and what is appropriate and what is frowned-upon. The authorities who are responsible for upholding the law must apprehend what has happened, and not allow [the prime minister] to evade an investigation into his actions."
Kadima's spokesman added that MK Shlomo Mula will be arriving at the Tel Aviv police station Thursday afternoon to officially submit a complaint against the prime minister and his wife in light of the evidence.
The investigation against the Israeli leader cited16 problematic trips that allegedly received elicit funding.The probe looked into a number of details, including Netanyahu's relationship with foreign businessman in the past decade.
In one instance described in the investigative report, Netanyahu travelled to an important conference at the American Enterprise Research Institute during his tenure as finance minister in 2004. The institute allegedly paid $23,000 dollars for Netanyahu and his wife's flights to the United States.
The investigation also revealed that Israel Bonds funded several of the Netanyahu's flights to the U.S. Israel Bonds, and organization created to raise funds for the State of Israel, is headed by Joshua Matza, a former minister in Netanyahu's first government and Likud MK.
The pro-Israel organization allegedly funded plane tickets for Sarah Netanyahu and the prime ministerial couple's children worth tens of thousands of dollars. It was also revealed that Spencer Partridge, an American friend of Netanyahu, provided his Israeli friend with an 'aerial taxi' – a personal plane at Netanyahu's disposal for all his domestic U.S. travel needs.
The prime minister's office issued a statement in response to the allegations, saying that the Channel 10 article "is part of an ongoing multi-year effort of [Channel 10 commentator] Raviv Drucker to besmirch the name of the prime minister and his family. No external body ever paid for Mr. Netanyahu's children's flights at any point when he was in public office."