Lapid: I testified like any law-abiding citizen

Yesh Atid chairman responds to reports that he was one of the key witnesses against Netanyahu.

Elad Benari,

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Miri Tzahi/TPS

Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid reacted on Tuesday evening to reports that he was one of the key witnesses against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the so-called “Case 1000” investigation into alleged gifts Netanyahu received from Hollywood filmmaker Arnon Milchan.

According to reports on Tuesday evening, Lapid provided police with evidence that Netanyahu pushed for a 2008 law that would have given Milchan millions of dollars in tax breaks.

"In the wake of the investigation of Case 1000, the police approached me and asked me to provide testimony about my time at the Finance Ministry. Like any law-abiding citizen in the State of Israel, I gave them a brief testimony regarding the attempt to extend the so-called 'Milchan Law' for 20 years,” Lapid said in a statement.

“I will emphasize that despite all the pressures, I refused to pass the law. In this case, as in other cases, Yesh Atid was the final obstacle to government corruption, against politicians who are preoccupied only with themselves and with their best interests,” he added.

“Even if the dry law does not oblige the prime minister to resign, in a properly-run country, a person against whom such heavy accusations are leveled, most of which are not denied, cannot continue to serve as prime minister who is responsible for the security and well-being of Israeli citizens. There is no way to run a country while you are fighting such heavy suspicions,” concluded Lapid.

News of Lapid's testimony came as the police announced that they have collected sufficient evidence to try Netanyahu in both the "Case 1000" and "Case 2000" investigations, in which Netanyahu is suspected of receiving bribes from Yediot Aharonot publisher Arnon “Noni” Mozes.

Following the police recommendation, the two cases now go to the Attorney General, who will determine whether either case has sufficient grounds to merit an indictment. The decision is expected to take at least several weeks.

After police announced their recommendations, Netanyahu declared that he would not resign and vowed that his government would serve out the remainder of its term, set to end in November 2019.

“I feel that it is incumbent upon me to continue leading the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “Citizens of Israel, you know that all the work that I have done was with the good of the State of Israel in mind. Nothing will distract me from this sacred duty. Today isn’t any different from so many other days.”

“Our government will finish its term,” added Netanyahu.

Meanwhile, coalition chairman MK David Amsalem (Likud) blasted Lapid after it was discovered that he had testified against Netanyahu, calling the Yesh Atid chairman a “lousy snitch.”

“When I was a child I was taught this: 'Dudi, we do not snitch. Nobody will ever want to sit with you again,” added Amsalem.








top