PM advisor suspected of offering job in exchange for closing Sara Netanyahu case

A close advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suspected of having offered a senior post to a former judge in 2015, in exchange for closing the criminal probe against the prime minister’s wife, Sara Netanyahu.
Sara Netanyahu Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90

Nir Hefetz, a close advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is suspected of having offered the post of attorney-general to former judge Hila Gerstl in 2015, in exchange for a promise to close the criminal probes against the prime minister’s wife Sara Netanyahu. The allegations were revealed by the Israel Police on Tuesday morning.

The affair was first unveiled by Maariv journalist Ben Caspit and was later declassified by the Israel Police, that confirmed it has indeed arrested two people for suspected involvement in the case. Hefetz was arrested earlier this week and is expected to remain in custody until Thursday.

The Israel Police said it is still investigating the suspicions. Netanyahu’s office responded to the allegations on Tuesday in a statement: “Nir Hefetz has never proposed this bizarre idea to the prime minister and his wife. He was never requested by them to suggest such a proposal and we do not believe that Hefetz himself ever even thought of doing such a thing. Very soon, the Netanyahu couple will be accused of the murder of [Haim] Arlosoroff.”

As previously reported by JOL, the Israel Police arrested on Sunday several senior officials from Israel’s national telephone company Bezeq and a few close associates of Netanyahu. Police investigators suspect that Shaul Elovitch, the owner of the Israeli news site Walla! and the controlling shareholder of Bezeq, cut a deal with someone close to Netanyahu, according to which in exchange for favorable coverage of Netanyahu on the website, the Israeli Communications Ministry would implement policies that financially benefited Elovitch.

Netanyahu has denounced the investigation. Last week, the Israel Police submitted its recommendation that Netanyahu be indicted on corruption charges in Cases 1000 and 2000. Netanyahu also dismissed these investigations and the police recommendations.

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