What Netanyahu Left Out in His Second Response to the Latest Corruption Scandal

Netanyahu gave two different versions on the reports alleging that his former aide offered a judge the attorney general post to nix case against Sara Netanyahu

Revital Hovel
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, at an event in southern Israel, February 20, 2018.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, at an event in southern Israel, February 20, 2018. Credit: Ilan Assayag
Revital Hovel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave two different versions in which he denied reports on the latest corruption scandal that rocked Israel on Tuesday.

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Reports on Tuesday alleged that Nir Hefetz, a confidant and former spokesman for the Netanyahus, offered judge Hila Gertsl the position of attorney general on the condition that she use her new post to stymie legal proceedings against the Netanyahus over official state household spendings.

Initially, Netanyahu stated that he and his wife, Sara, did not ask Nir Hefetz to make such a proposal to Judge Hila Gertsl. "Hefetz never made such a ludicrous offer and was never asked to do so and we cannot believe he would do such a thing on his own accord."

However, Netanyahu's version changed Tuesday evening, having omitted Sara in his second response. Netanyahu said he "never asked Nir Hefetz about this," and that Hefetz "never offered me anything on it, and you know what? I do not believe that he raised this possibility with anyone." 

In a separate case involving one of Netanyahu's closest confidants, Shlomo Filber, who was arrested by the police in an investigation into the ties of Israel’s telecom giant with government officials, Filber reached a deal with the police late on Tuesday to turn state's evidence. According to the deal, Filber will incriminate Netanyahu in exchange for a lighter sentence. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's second response in Hebrew to the report, February 20, 2018. Credit: Benjamin Netanyahu

As part of the agreement made late Tuesday night, Filber offered police a detailed account of everything he knows about Netanyahu's part in the so-called Case 4000, as well as others involved in the affair. According to the deal, Filber will not receive jail time.