Netanyahu investigation has been launched, Israel’s attorney general confirms

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s attorney general has confirmed that he has ordered an investigation into accusations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in what the Israeli media is reporting as a money-laundering probe.

Avichai Mandelblit stressed to the media that the investigation opened late Sunday is initial and not a criminal investigation, according to reports.

The attorney general reportedly discussed the accusations with the police intelligence unit, the state attorney and the Justice Ministry.

“Following information received in matters pertaining among other things to the prime minister, and which has been presented to the attorney general by the police’s investigations and intelligence department, the attorney general has conducted a number of discussions attended by the state prosecutor and other senior officials in the Justice Ministry and the police’s investigations and intelligence department,” said a statement issued by Mandelblit’s office. “Upon their conclusion, the attorney general has decided to instruct that an examination of the matter be opened.

Many media reports on the probe published in recent days have been “inaccurate, to say the least,” the statement added.

The allegations have not been made public, although the reports say that it is a money-laundering probe separate from previous cases against Netanyahu.

Netanyahu’s office denied the allegations.

“As with all the previous instances, when allegations were made against the prime minister that turned out to be baseless, nothing will come of this — because there’s nothing there,” the Israeli media quoted a Netanyahu spokesman as saying.

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