Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accused police investigators of employing terror tactics in their investigation of alleged harassment involving Likud officials of a state’s witness against Netanyahu.
The accusation came in response to a move by law enforcement officials to inspect phones belonging to Netanyahu aides suspected of intimidating Shlomo Filber, a key witness in one of the corruption cases Netanyahu has been fighting.
The prime minister branded it “a terror attack against Israeli democracy and every citizen’s right to privacy.”
“We don’t live under a totalitarian regime and this is unacceptable,” he said in a tweet on Sunday. “The goal is to terrorize my immediate circle and thus deny me the ability to respond to the criminal flood of leaks that is targeting me nonstop.”
Channel 12 reported on Sunday that the investigation expanded to include two more of Netanyahu’s aides — Likud campaign strategist Israel Einhorn and new media director Topaz Luk. Likud campaign manager Ofer Golan and spokesman Jonatan Urich were already known to be under investigation.
Filber is a witness in Case 4000, in which Netanyahu is alleged to have advanced regulations benefiting Bezeq controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch in exchange for positive coverage from the telecom company’s Walla news site.
Urich has told police that there was no intention to harass or influence Filber, according to Channel 13 News.
Asked whether Netanyahu knew about it, Urich replied: “No. I don’t know who was behind it.”