Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein approved the launching of a probe – before a criminal investigation – into information which claims President Reuven Rivlin received monthly payments from businessman David Appel.
The affair was first reported Sunday night by Channel 2. It appears that the evidence being investigated is considered "weak" from a legal perspective.
Investigators will examine whether the money transferred constitutes a criminal offense. After Rivlin's election to the presidency, police received new information regarding alleged money transfers. David Appel is currently serving a sentence for bribery.
It was also reported that President Rivlin was not informed of the investigation. In the past, police looked into the relationship between Rivlin and Appel, though at the end of the probe it was decided no criminal acts had been committed.
It is important to note that the new information is not unambiguous which is why the Attorney General approved a simple probe – as he did in the case of Minister Sheetrit.
If police cannot use the probe to find clear evidence of criminal acts, it will not be able to open a criminal investigation, and Weinstein would have avoided approving an unnecessary investigation from the beginning.
Rivlin's office released a statement: "The affair regarding the relationship between the president and David Appel was investigated over ten years ago by two attorney generals, Rubenstein and Mazuz, which closed the file given the lack of charges on any of the investigation's leads."
Eli Senyor and Moran Azulay contributed to this report.