Supreme Court President testifies to police

Justice Esther Hayut provides police with testimony regarding suspicions of attempt by Netanyahu associate to bribe another judge.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Justice Esther Hayut
Justice Esther Hayut
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Supreme Court President Justice Esther Hayut on Tuesday provided an open testimony to police in the probe into suspicions of attempts to bribe retired judge Hila Gerstel.

A statement from Hayut said she "confirmed that her colleague, retired Justice Hila Gerstel, who was nominated in 2015 for the position of Attorney General, told her in retrospect and after the candidacy was no longer relevant, that someone close to the prime minister spoke to a friend of hers when she was a candidate and asked her to clarify with him what her position will be regarding the investigations of the prime minister's wife."

"Gerstel expressed her shock to Hayut over the incident, but she added that she would not be able to elaborate beyond that and she would not be able to tell her who the people in question were."

"Because of the few details and the vague story that Gerstel chose to tell her, President Hayut did not have any basis for taking any action on her part," the statement said.

Israeli police said earlier on Tuesday that two associates of Netanyahu, Nir Hefetz and Eli Kamir, were suspected of offering Gerstel promotion in return for closing a criminal case against the premier's wife, Sara Netanyahu.

The new investigation stemmed from a separate probe into alleged bribery in the form of positive news coverage of Netanyahu in return for business concessions worth millions made public just hours earlier.

A spokesman for Netanyahu said that "Hefetz never presented this ridiculous proposal to the prime minister and his wife, and was never asked by them to make such a proposal, and we don't think he even considered such a thing."

Netanyahu released a new video on Tuesday evening responding to the reports on the latest developments in the investigations with which he is associated.

"What's been happening in the past two days is simply complete chaos, a scandal, bringing two false claims as part of the campaign against me and my family that has been going on for years," Netanyahu said in the video.

"They concoct a new case every two hours, every close associate is investigated, immediately a flood of false leaks and we know what the goal is, to create a cloud over the Prime Minister's head. It's unbelievable," he added.