Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yakub Abu Alkian
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yakub Abu Alkian
Photo: AP
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at the coronavirus-focused event

Netanyahu slams police for 'corrupt conspiracy' to topple him

At event ostensibly focused on battle against coronavirus, prime minister claims former state prosecutor did not pursue probe into alleged police misconduct in 2017 killing of Yakub Abu Alkian for fear it would harm criminal cases against the PM

Associated Press, Ynet |
Published: 09.08.20 , 23:30
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at the country's law enforcement system on Tuesday, continuing a crusade to discredit those who have pressed corruption cases against him ahead of the resumption of his trial early next year.
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  • Netanyahu's latest tirade came in response to a report by Channel 12 TV alleging that police covered up a conflict of interest involving one of its senior investigators who was looking into alleged crimes committed by Netanyahu and his wife Sara.
    ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו בהצהרה בבית שמשראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו בהצהרה בבית שמש
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at the coronavirus-focused event
    (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
    Speaking at an event meant to be focused on Israel's struggling battle against the coronavirus, Netanyahu was asked about the report and devoted a chunk of his time accusing the police of conspiring to oust him.
    ''The entire chain of command is involved: senior investigators, the chief of police, the state attorney, and everything is sanctioned and authorized by the attorney general,'' Netanyahu said.
    ''This was not an investigation. This is a corrupt political conspiracy to topple a prime minister.''
    To highlight his point about police wrongdoing, Netanyahu addressed another media report claiming the former state prosecutor did not pursue an investigation into a case of alleged police misconduct.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yakub Abu Alkian Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yakub Abu Alkian
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yakub Abu Alkian
    (Photo: AP/Archive)
    The case surrounded the fatal shooting of Yakub Abu Alkian in 2017, out of fears it would tarnish the image of law enforcement amid its investigations into Netanyahu. Police shot the man, claiming he had intentionally rammed his car into police who were carrying out a demolition in his Bedouin village. His family disputes the police claims.
    On Tuesday, Netanyahu apologized for the killing and for the man being wrongly labeled a terrorist, which he said is what he was told by police at the time.
    "I first of all want to apologize on my behalf to the Alkian family for the killing of the father of the family," said Netanyahu.
    "They [the police] told me he was a terrorist, on Monday it turned out he was not, in fact, a terrorist. On Monday it became abundantly clear that senior prosecutors and the police had turned him into a terrorist in order to protect themselves and harm me. I said many times there are many failures in the police's work, but this is worse."
    Since he was indicted on charges of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes, Netanyahu has repeatedly sought to disparage the police and prosecutors, accusing them of being biased against him and seeking to force him out of office.
    Protesters block a main road during a demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his residence in Jerusalem Protesters block a main road during a demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his residence in Jerusalem
    Protesters block a main road during a demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his residence in Jerusalem
    (Photo: AP)
    Legal officials and experts say Netanyahu's attacks on an independent and reputable system have done lasting damage to Israel's democracy.
    The charges revolve around a series of scandals that accuse Netanyahu of trading favors with wealthy associates in exchange for gifts and palatable media coverage of himself and his family.
    Netanyahu's trial is set to resume in January, with evidentiary hearings to take place three times a week and sure to keep Netanyahu's alleged crimes firmly in the public conversation at a time when he faces widespread discontent over his handling of the coronavirus crisis.

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