(JustPatriots.com)- According to reports in Israel, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been accused of not returning state gifts he received after he left office.
Writing in Maariv on Sunday, columnist Ben Caspit said the gifts, that were allowed to be displayed at the Prime Minister’s office or official residence during his time in office, were supposed to be returned when his term ended. But Caspit claims Netanyahu has not returned them.
A spokesman for the former Israeli PM, however, disputes the claim. He said all the gifts were returned and the gifts listed in Caspit’s report were not in Netanyahu’s possession. Instead, the spokesman contends that this report was fabricated in an attempt to distract the public from the high-dollar renovations underway at the private residences of the current Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and the alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid.
Caspit’s article listed several gifts he claimed Netanyahu still possessed – including gifts from both former President and First Lady Trump, former President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Caspit cites a former aide of Netanyahu’s who claimed that many of these gifts cannot be located.
According to Caspit, Shlomit Barnea, a legal advisor to the prime minister’s office, wrote a letter to Netanyahu in early August reminding him that he was supposed to return these gifts at the end of his term “in the condition they were given.”
The Netanyahu’s moved out of the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem back on July 10.
Back in 1999, after losing the election, Netanyahu faced similar accusations of refusing to return gifts when he left office. At the time police recommended charges against Netanyahu, however, the attorney general opted not to indict him due to a lack of evidence.
Currently Benjamin Netanyahu is standing trial in three separate corruption cases. One of those cases involves allegedly receiving expensive illicit gifts from wealthy supporters.
The Times of Israel reported on Sunday that prosecutors told the Jerusalem District Court that they had uncovered new evidence from a key witness in one of Netanyahu’s corruption trials in which he faces charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.