In the last 20 years, every Prime Minister of Israel has been subjected to investigations pertaining to the corruption scandals in Israel. Besides, several cabinet ministers, Knesset members and mayors have also been investigated earlier. Similarly, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu is currently witnessing the corruption probe.
Let’s look at several such big names who have been questioned in the past, over their business dealings and corruption scandals in Israel.
1. Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu is not new to criminal investigations. He has been investigated in 1997, during his first term as Prime Minister, for possible charges of fraud and breach of trust. He was accused of appointing a lawyer general, to offer favourable treatment to a political supporter. While the police recommended to file charges against him, the prosecutors declined.
Netanyahu was again investigated two years later for fraud. This time he was accused of involving a government contractor, but no charges were filed against him.
2. Ariel Sharon
In the late 1990s, Ariel Sharon was suspected of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. Due to this, he came to be known as the “Greek Island Affair”. While the prosecutors recommended to file charges against him, the attorney general said that there were insufficient evidence.
3. Aryeh Deri
In 1999, Aryeh Deri was convicted of fraud, taking bribes, and breach of public trust, in his role as Interior Minister. Later, the court acquitted him of the second bribery charge and a charge that he falsified documents. He has served as a two-year sentence.
4. Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert is indulged in a scandal known as the “Holyland Affair”, which involves fraud and breach of trust. He is serving a 19-month prison sentence for the same. In 2012, Olmert was imprisoned of taking bribes related to a housing project in Jerusalem. Besides, in 2015, he was convicted of taking bribes in what is called the “Talansky Affair”.
5. Avigdor Lieberman
Currently serving as Israel’s Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman has also faced repeated questions about his business dealings. In a long-running corruption probe, He has been interrogated on fraud, suspicion of money laundering, and breach of trust. However, he did not face any serious charges of money laundering and witness tampering. Besides, he was acquitted from all such charges.