Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh claimed on Wednesday that “powerful elements”, as he put it, collected information about investigators who dealt, among other things, with files linked to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
"There are pressures on those involved in the investigation. There are people searching the area to gather information about the officers. That means they start asking questions about police interrogators and hang around their neighbors, and we know that this is their profession,” Alsheikh told the Uvda program hosted by journalist Ilana Dayan, which airs on Channel 12.
Asked whether the process of gathering information by these sources was investigated, the police commissioner replied, "This does not always serve our central investigation, and therefore sometimes there are situations in which it is not convenient for us to open an investigation on something in order not to disturb or contaminate another investigation."
Alsheikh further claimed that there had been a promise from the prime minister to appoint him to head the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) after he concludes his term as Police Commissioner.
In response to the commissioner's comments, Netanyahu on Wednesday night blasted him and asserted that Alsheikh is not fit to objectively conduct the investigations against him.
"It is shocking to discover that the commissioner repeats his false suggestion that Prime Minister Netanyahu sent private investigators against police officers who are interrogating him," Netanyahu wrote on Facebook.
"It is also shocking to discover that he repeated to journalists the equally false insinuation as though the prime minister was involved in a police officer's complaint against [Lahav 433 Commander Roni] Ritman for sexual harassment. How could it be that Ritman heads the unit that investigates the prime minister and personally participates in formulating the recommendations against him?” added the prime minister.
"Every decent person will ask himself how people who say such delusional things about the prime minister can objectively investigate him and recommend his case without bias? The commissioner's hints are so serious that an immediate and objective investigation is required on the argument that the prime minister sent investigators - and once it becomes clear that there is no such connection, the necessary conclusions must be drawn about how to conduct the investigation and formulate recommendations against the prime minister,” he concluded.
The Channel 12 interview with Alsheikh aired just after Israeli media reported that the police recommendations in Cases 1000 and 2000 will be submitted to the State Prosecutor's Office next week.
In the wake of those reports, Netanyahu released a video in which he said, "Many of you are asking what will happen, so I want to reassure you: There will be nothing, because I know the truth.”
"The State of Israel is a state of law, and the law states that the person who determines whether there is evidence against the prime minister is the attorney general, and he consults with the state prosecutor. The state prosecutor himself said recently that about half of the police's recommendations end with nothing," continued Netanyahu.
The prime minister added that he is certain that there will be no recommendations to indict him.
"So do not be in suspense: There will be recommendations, there will also be signs such as 'Bibi is guilty until proven innocent', there will also be inappropriate pressure, but I am sure that at the end of the day the competent legal bodies will come to one conclusion, to the simple truth: There is nothing,” he concluded.