Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin NetanyahuNoam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

The committee for granting of permits has published its decision on Sunday on the prime minister’s request to receive donations to finance his legal defense needs.

The committee has rejected Prime Minister Netanyahu’s request and have even demanded that he return the sum of $300,000 he received from his cousin, businessman Natan Milikovsky.

In its decision, the committee rejected Netanyahu’s claim that the fact that he is well to do should not affect the decision as to whether allow him to use donations for legal protection.

“The request permit is personal and depends on the individual circumstance of the applicant and the circumstances of the case. Of course, the justification of the permit and its public integrity involves the applicant’s economic ability. A wealthy minister must finance his protection from his own resources first, as well as a minister with fewer assets will be examined first, who is unable to finance what is required of his sources. The applicant’s capital statements indicate that the applicant is a well-off person. It is therefore required to prove, in accordance with previous decisions of the committee, that it has exhausted its self-financing capabilities before turning to donations,” the committee stated.

The committee’s decision also states the fact that Milikovsky is a cousin of the prime minister does not make the money transfer from him to the prime minister legitimate. “The definition of ‘family member’ applies to direct family members with whom there is a mutual flow of family capital. And in any case the definition in our case does not include ‘cousin’.”

Towards the end of the decision, the committee determined that Netanyahu was required to return the money he had received from his cousin.

“The Attorney General expressed his opinion that if the Committee rejects the request to reconsider the Prime Minister’s request, the Prime Minister will be required to return the said amounts to Mr. Milikovsky with a submission of evidence to the satisfactory of the State Comptroller and the Attorney General and at a timetable to be determined.”

The Likud party vehemently opposed the decision.

“This is a scandalous and one-sided decision aimed solely at Prime Minister Netanyahu, with the aim of establishing a Lapid-Gantz left-wing government not to be deterred by any means, including depriving Prime Minister Netanyahu of his right to finance his legal protection, a basic right granted to every Knesset member. Prime Minister Netanyahu will appeal to the Supreme Court of Justice against this scandalous decision.”

Netanyahu’s attorneys have responded to the decision as well, stating, “this is an unprecedented decision that violates basic principles. It is inconceivable that the prime minister be deprived of the basic right to legal protection given to every Knesset member. We will go to the Supreme Court against the scandalous decision.”