Police Probing Possible Netanyahu Links to Suspected Bid-fixing in Prime Minister's Office

Investigators are also said to be investigating the possible involvement of major Israeli companies in the case, local media reports say

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his office
Haim Zach/GPO

The Israel Police are reportedly investigating whether major Israeli corporations engaged in fixing requests for bids issued by the Prime Minister's Office and whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or members of his family are involved in the matter.

At this point the case is at a preliminary stage and Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit and State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan are being briefed in developments in the case.

Channel 10 News recently reported that police have been investigating the suspicions of the fixing of bids in the Prime Minister's Office, including the suspected involvement of senior officials in the office. Staff from the Prime Minister's Office are said to have already provided testimony in the case.

The suspicion, Channel 10 said, is that offers for bids were tailored to make it possible to steer work for the Prime Minister's Office to specific suppliers. On Thursday came an additional report that major Israeli companies are suspected of involvement.

The Walla News website reported on Thursday that over the past month, investigators have been looking into suspected fraud and breach of trust in the case on the part of security division employees of the Prime Minister's Office, as well as a possible link to members of the Netanyahu family and the suspended deputy director general of the office, Ezra Saidoff.

For its part, the Netanyahu family issued a statement saying: "Enough with the attempts to stick the name of the Netanyahu family into every report on an investigation."

There are currently two formal police investigations pending against the prime minister. In the investigation dubbed Case 1000, police are looking into allegations that Israeli Hollywood executive Arnon Milchan provided the Netanyahu family with gifts worth hundreds of thousands of shekels, including cigars, champagne and jewelry, at their request. In the other, Case 2000, police have obtained tapes of conversations between the prime minister and the publisher of the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, Arnon Mozes, that allegedly involved discussion of Yedioth providing positive new coverage for Netanyahu in exchange for government policies favorable to Yedioth.

The Netanyahu family and Mozes deny any wrongdoing.