Courting. Netanyahu
Photo: Reuters
'Offers not part of coalition talks.' MK Hasson
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Kadima to AG: Check if Netanyahu's offers constitute bribery

In letter to Mazuz, head of Knesset's State Control Committee demands inquiry into whether Likud attempts to lure Kadima MKs with promises of 'ministerial positions and personal benefits' amount to bribery. 'This is a political ploy,' MK Boim says

Chairman of the Knesset's State Control Committee MK Yoel Hasson (Kadima) sent a letter to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz on Wednesday requesting him to inquire whether the proposals offered to Kadima members by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his representatives to join Likud amount to "a bribery offence."


Hasson wrote that according to reports Netanyahu promised Knesset members "government positions as ministers and deputy ministers as well as various personal benefits, such as being appointed chairperson of Mifal Hapayis (Israel National Lottery) or of Israel Bonds."


The Kadima MK stressed in his letter that Netanyahu's proposals were not part of negotiations to form a coalition or as part of any attempt to garner support for "a certain ideological path."


Hasson particularly criticized the offers to appoint defecting Kadima members to non-governmental positions, claiming these positions are to be filled only after a tender is issued.


According to reports, Netanyahu has been courting a number of Kadima members in a bid to convince them to leave Kadima and defect to Likud.


The names of seven Kadima MKs were mentioned in the affair: Ronit Tirosh, Jacob Edery, Arie Bibi, Eli Aflalo, Otniel Schneller, Yulia Shamalov Berkovich and Ze`ev Boim. Talks were reportedly held with additional lawmakers, all of whom rejected the offers.


"This is a political ploy," Boim said of the Likud overtures.


Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni spoke with a number of party members who were mentioned as possible candidates to quit the party, but did not receive any assurances that they would not. However, Kadima sources estimated that the party would not split.


Sources close to Netanyahu responded to the criticism by saying that Livni herself was trying to break up the Labor faction.


"Livni is rolling her eyes hypocritically. She herself is stirring things in the Labor party and exerts endless efforts to divide it while spreading various promises to Labor MKs in order for them to join Kadima," one source said.


Amnon Meranda and Aviad Glickman contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 12.23.09, 20:14
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