The projects include paving paradise, constructing a parking lot at the same location, a contract to operate a big yellow taxi service based there, another to build tree museum, and another to operate the facility and charge people the shekel equivalent of US $1.50 admission.
Jerusalem, November 28 – New troubles appear to face Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the form of yet another corruption investigation, this time in connection with a tender to pave paradise and put up a parking lot, sources in the Israel Police reported today.
Police spokesman Deputy Commissioner Joe Nimiczel convened a press conference at police headquarters this morning (Monday) to announce the investigation, which he said followed several months of inquiry into allegations that prominent Likud Party activists had rigged the bidding process in favor construction firms with ties to relatives and friends.
“We have indications that Likud figures – whose names we may not reveal yet, under court order – corrupted the tender to pave paradise and replace it with a parking lot,” stated Nimiczel. “As such, we intend to open a formal investigation into the matter, then issue indictment recommendations to the Attorney General as appropriate.”
In papers provided to reporters at the conference, police record allegations that senior Likud operatives bribed, threatened, or otherwise illegally induced members of a committee to approve the proposals of favored contractors in a group of infrastructure projects. The projects include paving paradise, constructing a parking lot at the same location, a contract to operate a big yellow taxi service based there, another to build tree museum, and another to operate the facility and charge people the shekel equivalent of US $1.50 admission. A separate section of the documentation includes allegations that a specific exterminator with ties to the prime minister has already been declared as the provider of DDT to keep the trees in the museum bug-free, in violation of competitive tender protocols.
The sources cited in the papers contend that the rigging of the process took place at he behest of Netanyahu himself, though no evidence of the accusations appears in the documents themselves. Deputy Commissioner Nimiczel explained that at this stage, the police are taking extreme care to prevent destruction of evidence or tampering with witnesses, and are therefore guarding those sources.
A bevy of corruption allegations have dogged Netanyahu for years, though no criminal wrongdoing has yet to be found despite several investigations. An attorney for the prime minister declined to comment on the details of the case, but inquired whether the parties agitating for Mr. Netanyahu’s removal as premier over the allegations had thought it through. “You’ll miss him once he leaves office,” asserted Robert Zimmerman. “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”
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