Likud Comptroller Takes Party to Court

Three years ago, Shai Galili began to look into the salaries and contracts of party employees. Following the party’s refusal to provide him with the information he requested in 2014, Galili appealed to the Tel Aviv District Court.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu at meeting of Likud ministers, June 13, 2016.
Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

The Likud party’s internal comptroller petitioned the Tel Aviv District Court last week to issue a contempt of court ruling against the party. The comptroller, attorney Shai Galili, lodged the appeal after the party failed to comply with a court order to hand over documents regarding the employment of party workers.

Galili, a veteran Likud activist who was appointed to his position in 2013, conducts intensive scrutiny of the party’s financial affairs, contrary to the wishes of the party chairman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The party’s legal adviser, Avi Halevi, has been trying unsuccessfully to restrict Galili’s activities.

Three years ago, Galili began to look into the salaries and contracts of party employees. Because Netanyahu controls the party bureaucracy, and political parties are not subject to the Freedom of Information Law, very little is known about the party’s finances. Following the party’s refusal to provide him with the information he requested in 2014, Galili appealed to the Tel Aviv District Court. Judge Yona Ettedgui ordered Likud to turn over the documents.

Nevertheless, Likud Director General Gadi Arieli and the party’s accountants have not done so, demanding that the comptroller explain why he needs the documents.

The party has also refused to provide Galilee with information about party expenses in the 2015 campaign, which exceeded budget.