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High Court: Release report on Netanyahu fraud scandal

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    Last Update: 01/06/2004 22:35 High Court: Release report on Netanyahu fraud scandal http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasen/spages/434034.html By Yuval Yoaz, Haaretz
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 2004
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      Last Update: 01/06/2004 22:35

      High Court: Release report on Netanyahu fraud scandal
      http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasen/spages/434034.html
      By Yuval Yoaz, Haaretz Correspondent

      The High Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that Attorney General Menachem Mazuz must release former
      State Prosecutor Edna Arbel's position paper recommending that Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
      be indicted for fraud and breach of trust over violations allegedly committed in the early 1990s.

      Mazuz is due to release an abstract of the position paper within 90 days, following the court's
      acceptance of the petition filed by Haaretz in the case.

      Arbel had recommended in 2000 that Netanyahu be indicted for fraud and breach of trust and that he
      and his wife Sara be indicted for attempting to obtain something by fraud.

      Netanyahu and his wife Sara were suspected of attempting to fraudulently obtain large sums of money
      from the Prime Minister's Office to pay contractor Avner Amedi for work he had done for the
      Netanyahus before and during Benjamin Netanyahu's term as prime minister, which began in 1996.

      Netanyahu was also suspected of removing some 700 gifts worth hundreds of thousands of shekels from
      the prime minister's residence with the goal of taking all or some of them for private use.

      However, Elyakim Rubinstein, who was attorney general at the time, rejected Arbel's position in
      September 2000, deciding to close the case due to an absence of sufficient evidence for a criminal
      indictment. Both Rubinstein and Arbel have recently been appointed to the Supreme Court.

      The High Court justices harshly criticized Rubinstein on Tuesday for refusing to make public Arbel's
      position paper on the grounds that it was an opinion expressed in internal consultations.

      In his decision to close the case, Rubinstein did make some trenchant comments about Netanyahu's
      behavior, noting that even if Netanyahu's criminality had not been proved at the required level to
      go to court, there was a measure of "ugliness" in the way he acted.
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