Comptroller Holds Hearing for Netanyahu on 'Bibi Tours' Case

Report into whether Netanyahu received improper funding for flights abroad while Finance Minister has been four-and-a-half years in the making.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and State Comptroller Josef Shapira.
Tomer Appelbaum

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a hearing by the state comptroller on Friday morning in connection with the so-called "Bibi Tours" affair, which relates to the funding of Netanyahu's foreign travel while serving as finance minister a decade ago.

Netanyahu requested the meeting with State Comptroller Joseph Shapira in order to respond personally to assertions against him in a draft of the unfinished comptroller's report, rather than relying on written responses.

GPO

The drafting of the report has been ongoing for some four-and-a-half years, since the tenure of the previous comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss. Its findings have never been published.

Barring changes resulting from Friday's hearing, the report is expected to be released in the next few months.

The "Bibi Tours" case involves alleged improper funding of flights abroad by Netanyahu and his family when he served as finance minister a decade ago.

Netanyahu finally submitted his responses to the draft report in late November, after the deadline for submission had been extended three times.

The information provided in November has reportedly caused Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to examine the possibility of criminal conduct in the case, according to a television report a week ago.

Netanyahu's responses needed to be collated by the comptroller with data that Shapira received last February and additional information that was passed on to him seven months later, following an announcement by Weinstein – after an investigation lasting nearly two years – that there was no suspicion of criminal acts.

The Justice Ministry refused to confirm or deny the contents of this report, saying it does not relate to investigations or whether they in fact exist.