Bibi in trouble?
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Netanyahu faces double billing accusations

Channel 10: Prime minister billed two organizations for 2006 trip to United States; legal sources, criminal probe may be unavoidable

Is Bibi in trouble? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu billed two organizations for the same flight after he attended a function in the United States in September 2006. a report by Israel's Channel 10 charged Wednesday.


Later Wednesday, legal sources told Ynet that if the details are accurate, a criminal probe against Netanyahu will be inevitable.


"If it turns out that the Channel 10 investigative report is absolutely true, the attorney general will have no choice but to order the launch of a criminal investigation against Netanyahu," one source said, adding that the affair is reminiscent of similar cases involving former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.


"This whole affair doesn't look good," another source said.


Invoices as presented by Channel 10


The function in question aimed to promote the establishment of a hospital in the southern town of Ashdod. Netanyahu received $8,237 for the flight from the Ashdod Medical Center, and the same amount from the Heritage organization.


The claim, which was backed up by documents and invoices, contradicts arguments made by Netanyahu's wife, Sara, during a television interview last week. At the time, she denied that even one shekel was double-billed by the PM.


Netanyahu received permission from the Knesset's Ethics Committee to bill the flight to the medical center, but not to Heritage. A member of the organization refused to comment on what precisely the group paid for, saying this was none of the viewers' business.


Responding to the latest charges, Netanyahu issued the following statement via attorney David Shimron: "There was no case of double billing for any trip undertaken by Mr. Netanyahu…in respect to the trip to the US in September 2006, this flight was funded by several bodies at a total sum of some $32,000. This sum was used to purchase tickets used throughout the trip. Just like in every other case, there are no 'leftovers' here or the double purchase of tickets, and every organization knew who it was paying for."


The attorney also threatened to file a libel suit against Channel 10.


Aviad Glickman contributed to the report



פרסום ראשון: 04.06.11, 20:23
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