Netanyahu Corruption Probes Will Take 'Months' to Complete, Prosecutor Says

'Additional inquiries' being made in luxury gift case and quid pro quo case, Liat Ben Ari Shwekey says

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a graduation ceremony for IDF officers, September 4, 2018.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a graduation ceremony for IDF officers, September 4, 2018.Credit: \ Eliyahu Hershkovitz

The Tel Aviv district attorney for economic and tax crimes said Tuesday that it will take “months” before investigations are completed on corruption cases involving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Liat Ben Ari Shwekey said the investigations could not be speeded up at the expense of the truth.

With regard to Case 1000 (the expensive gifts case) and Case 2000 (involving a quid pro quo from Yedioth Ahronoth), she said, “There are additional inquiries being made in both 1000 and 2000, some of them because of changes in Case 4000 [the Bezeq bribery case] and some not. We are sitting and writing opinions in these cases. It will take months.”

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Deputy Attorney General Raz Nizri noted that state’s witness Nir Hefetz had given the prosecutors “dozens or hundreds of recordings containing hundreds if not thousands of hours of audio,” which is why the investigation is continuing. Both were speaking at an Israel Bar Association event in Tel Aviv.

“We have a heavy responsibility on our shoulders,” Ben Ari Shwekey said. “It was recommended that we submit a uniform decision to the attorney general on all these cases. Our work isn’t easy. The term ‘foot-dragging’ has a very negative connotation, but we want only one thing — to get at the truth. You must rely on us that we are doing our best. Speed cannot be at the expense of clarifying the truth,” she said.

“It would be much worse if we were to make an incorrect decision and the prime minister did or did not continue to serve because we were pressured into making a recommendation,” she said.