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Netanyahu under Probe for Graft

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TEHRAN, April 1 (ICANA) – The Israeli regime's comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss says he is launching an investigation into Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu's spending, following reports of corruption by the top official.
Friday, April 01, 2011 12:27:43 PM
Netanyahu under Probe for Graft

The investigation follows reports by Israeli Channel 10 TV and the Maariv daily last week on Netanyahu and his wife's extravagant campaign and travel spending during a 10-year period between his first and second terms as the regime's prime minister.

The reports have raised questions about whether the donors were trying to gain influence with Netanyahu, AP reported on Thursday.

On Wednesday, a parliamentary panel gave Lindenstrauss exceptionally extensive powers to probe into the case.

Although the inquiry marks a preliminary stage, the matter could be turned over to police authorities and prosecutors if it concludes that wrongdoing has been committed.

Netanyahu says the accusations were "fabricated and tainted with hypocrisy." He has filed a $300,000 libel suits against the TV broadcaster and the major daily.

"There are journalists who don't like me and don't like the fact that I am prime minister," he said on Wednesday, in response to a question posed during a YouTube's World View Project.

Netanyahu has weathered several scandals during his first term as the Israeli premier.

Financial scandals have been rampant among Israeli officials.

In 2008, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was forced to resign over corruption charges. He is on trial on separate charges of accepting illicit funds from foreign supporters and double-billing Jewish groups for travels abroad.

In 2010, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was interrogated by inspectors over the charge of transferring 6.5 million shekels into the bank accounts of companies owned by his daughters.

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