Israel’s attorney general has ordered police to open a criminal investigation into two unspecified matters involving the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Channel 10 television has said.
A spokeswoman for Israel’s justice ministry declined to respond to the report. Netanyahu has in the past denied wrongdoing in the purchase of submarines from Germany, where media have reported a potential conflict of interest involving his lawyer.
The Channel 10 report on Wednesday said one of the two cases that the attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, had been examining was not known to the public.
Netanyahu and his family have been subject to a series of allegations over the past two decades. In 1997, it was decided that there was not enough evidence to charge him over the appointment of an attorney general, though prosecutors said they had a “tangible suspicion” about Netanyahu’s role in the scandal.
According to the New York Times, Netanyahu reacted by saying that he had “erred in the making of the selection, but I did not commit any crime”. He added: “As far as I am concerned, and I think as far as the majority of the public in Israel is concerned, this affair is behind us.”
There followed a series of allegations about the use of public funds in the Netanyahu household. Israeli police recommended in 2000 that Netanyahu – then between his stints as prime minister – be charged with corruption over claims he and his wife, Sara, benefited from more than £60,000 in state gifts.
The attorney general refused, however, saying there were “difficulties with the evidence”, which was not sufficient for a trial.
Netanyahu admitted this year that he had accepted thousands of euros from Arnaud Mimran, who was later convicted of fraud and sentenced to eight years in prison.
And in May it was reported that Sara Netanyahu could face fraud charges over the management of the prime minister’s residence. The claims reportedly focused on whether the state was defrauded into paying for private expenses.
She and her husband’s office have denied any wrongdoing. It has been reported that prosecutors are still looking at the case.