A team of investigators from the Lahav 433 Anti-Corruption Unit appeared at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem Jan 2. They carried several thick dossiers in their hands. The team was led by unit head Koresh Barnur. They entered the state residence and didn’t exit it until a little more than three hours later, marking the official beginning of an investigation into Netanyahu, under caution, for allegations involving breaching his duty of trust as a public servant.
Over the past 20 years, all of Israel’s prime ministers have undergone criminal investigations of one kind or another, and Netanyahu was the first, during his first term in office, 1996-99, on a series of issues, including accepting gifts and attempting to charge the state treasury for personal expenditures. Next in line were Ehud Barak (for the “fictitious straw companies” affair) and Ariel Sharon (for the Greek Island affair and funds involving the businessman Cyril Kern, among other issues). Then came Ehud Olmert, the first to be indicted and who was ultimately convicted and is now doing time in prison.