Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the Channel 10 report according to which he and his wife Sarah spent NIS 131,000 (about $38,000) during a six-day trip PR to London during the Second Lebanon War constituted "political persecution" aimed at undermining his premiership bid.
"What we have here is political persecution in an attempt to prevent the Likud and myself from leading the country, as the majority of the people want," Netanyahu told Ynet. "The report is filled with systematic slant aimed at hurting the Likud by targeting me and my wife.
"During my trip in August 2006, I worked 20 hours a day giving interviews, lecturing, meeting journalists, editors, political leaders and Jewish leaders to repel Arab propaganda," the Likud chairman said, adding "our stay in London did not cost the State of Israel even one shekel and was entirely funded by the Israel Bonds and the local Jewish community."
Netanyahu said he planned to sue Channel 10 for slander over its report, which claimed that the majority of Netanyahu's expenses were paid by a Jewish organization headed by a British Jewish millionaire, in violation of Knesset Ethics Committee regulations.
On Saturday Knesset Member Yoel Hasson (Kadima) said he planned to send a letter to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, demanding that he launch an investigation against Netanyahu over the Channel 10 report.
In the letter, Hasson claims that the report "raises heavy suspicions that Netanyahu committed offenses related to at least two trips abroad with his wife, one during his tenure as finance minister and the other as the opposition chairman."