Ari Harow, the former Chief of Staff to Benjamin Netanyahu will now testify against the Israeli Prime Minister, according to Bloomberg Politics.
Harow has been named an official witness in two investigations regarding “fraud, breach of trust and bribes” from Israeli and foreign individuals. While Netanyahu has refused to comment on the investigations, his office released a statement denying any culpability.
“We completely reject the unfounded claims made against the prime minister,” the statement read. “The campaign to change the government is under way, but it is destined to fail, for a simple reason: there won’t be anything because there was nothing.”
Per Israel National News, the first case, which began in late 2016, revolves around the Prime Minister receiving illegal gifts from Israeli and foreign businessman, including Las Vegas tycoon and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.
The second case centers around a conspiracy between Netanyahu and Arnon Mozes the editor of an Israeli newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, to give more favorable coverage to the PM in exchange for “passage of legislation barring the free distribution of Israel Hayom, a rival paper that has cut into Yediot’s readership in recent years.”
The Tel Aviv court handling the case extended the gag order on public disclosure of the negotiations between the police and Harow, keeping a shroud of ambiguity over the complete allegations against the Israeli Prime Minister.
If convicted, Netanyahu would not be required to resign as Prime Minister, but instead could face increased pressure to step down after his 11-year run, the second longest tenure of an Israeli Prime Minister.
“There will be no indictment,” read a statement from Netanyahu’s Likud party. “But let’s say there will be: the charges would still be minor and the prime minister would be able both to function and to prove his innocence.”