Israel attorney general to open criminal probe against Netanyahu
TEL AVIV - Israel's attorney general has decided to order a criminal probe against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and he is to soon be questioned by police, Israeli media reported Thursday.
The justice ministry and police have declined to comment. Police have however issued a statement saying that it would inform the public "in due time" on the issue, while warning that media reports have included speculation.
Israeli media have reported that the investigation is to involve suspicions of corruption.
Channel 10 television reported that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has authorised police to conduct a criminal investigation.
The station and other Israeli media have reported that Netanyahu is to be questioned by police.
In July, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said he had ordered a preliminary examination into an unspecified affair involving Netanyahu.
No details were given on the nature of the preliminary examination and Netanyahu has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
He has acknowledged receiving money from French tycoon Arnaud Mimran, who was sentenced to eight years in prison over a scam amounting to 283 million euros involving the trade of carbon emissions permits and the taxes on them.
Netanyahu's office said he had received $40,000 in contributions from Mimran in 2001, when he was not in office, as part of a fund for public activities, including appearances abroad to promote Israel.
He has also come under scrutiny over an alleged conflict of interest in the purchase of submarines from a German firm.
Media reports have alleged a conflict of interest over the role played by the Netanyahu family lawyer, David Shimron, who also acts for the Israeli agent of Germany's ThyssenKrupp, which builds the Dolphin submarines.