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Gantz Denies Wrongdoing Amid Probe Reports

Gantz Denies Wrongdoing Amid Probe Reports

Thursday, 20 February, 2020 - 08:45
Israeli Kahol Lavan political alliance leader Benny Gantz is pictured at the Knesset in Jerusalem on December 11, 2019. - AFP
Asharq Al-Awsat

Israeli opposition leader Benny Gantz denied wrongdoing on Thursday following media reports that Israel would look into an allegedly shady deal between a company he headed and Israeli police.


The incident comes less than two weeks before national elections and during a campaign by Gantz' Blue and White party that has tried to focus attention on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's indictment for corruption charges.


Israel holds elections on March 2, the third vote in less than a year after two elections in 2019 ended inconclusively, with neither Netanyahu or Gantz able to forge a 61-seat majority government.


Pre-election surveys have predicted similar results in next month's vote, potentially extending the deadlock, the Associated Press.


“It all sounds like political pressure to get this thing on the public's agenda,” Gantz said.


“I am totally at ease. This was checked in the past and no criminal suspicion was found,” he added.


After leaving the military, Gantz headed the Fifth Dimension, a cybersecurity company that entered talks with Israeli police over the sale of its product. According to Israel's state prosecutor, police may have violated acquisition laws by forgoing a tender in its dealings with the company.


Israel's Justice Ministry declined to comment on the reports.


Netanyahu was charged last year with bribery, breach of trust and fraud in three cases in which he is accused of receiving lavish gifts from billionaire friends and of exchanging regulatory favors with media moguls for more palatable media coverage of him and his family.


Netanyahu denies wrongdoing too and claims the charges have been trumped up by a hostile justice system, police and media out to get him.


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