At the end of a controversial week in which he was the center of public, Likud MK Oren Hazan is going on the offensive.
Hazan has vehemently denied a Channel 2 report that he committed a number of crimes, decrying the "sick imaginations" of the media. A post on his Facebook page said he was preparing a libel suit.
Hazan serves in four different Knesset committees, including the prestigious Foreign Affairs and Defense and the Finance committees. The Likud party can expel or suspend MKs from committees using an internal procedure, but so far this has only been done to sanction MKs rebelling against the coalition's positions.
According to the Channel 2 report, Hazan managed a casino in Bulgaria, where he allegedly procured prostitutes for his friends and smoked hard drugs.
In an interview with channel 10's Gil Reva that will preview Friday, Hazan had this to say: "Someone is using piles of money to do a character assassination on me, period."
Hazan continued: "In Bulgaria, like every country in the world- including Israel- there are girls everywhere. In hotels too. In Bulgaria itself, the girls are in the casino, walking the streets. No one needs me for that. By the way, to my recollection… I don’t, don’t take me by my word, I need to check this, but if I remember correctly its legal there – this whole story. So what do you want from me?"
Speaker Yuli Edelstein has suspended his deputy, Likud MK Oren Hazan, on Tuesday after allegations arose that Hazan "arranged" escorts for gamblers at a casino in Bulgaria and used hard drugs.