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Israeli PM probed for allegedly receiving money from businessman

Israeli PM probed for allegedly receiving money from businessman Jerusalem, Jan. 7 : The Israeli police have investigated an allegation that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received hundreds of thousands of shekels from a businessman.

The channel 10 news reported late Sunday that the probe did not yield a criminal investigation, since there was not enough evidence.

The probe began during the state comptroller''s probe into a different affair termed "Bibi Tours", in which Netanyahu is suspected of traveling abroad at the expense of businessmen and donors and double-billed some, as well as illegally obtained campaign funds.

According to the report, Netanyahu received hundreds of thousands of shekels from businessman Dedi Graucher via Netanyahu'' s driver.

The Justice Ministry has confirmed the report to the Channel 10 news. "Following the receipt of information and additional information from the comptroller, in May 2012 the attorney general instructed the police to examine the information and decided whether there''s enough evidence to justify a criminal probe," the ministry said in a statement.

"The police opined there was no evidentiary basis justifying the opening of a criminal investigation in the matter," it added.

The State Prosecutor''s Office will now examine the police''s decision and decide whether or not to close the case.

In response, Netanyahu''s advocate called the new reports " baseless and false accusations" and said it does not seem like a coincidence that this report comes into light two weeks prior to the elections.

"The prime minister never took a penny from Mr. Dedi Graucher -- not directly, not through his driver or in any other form," attorneys David Shimron and Michael Rabello told Channel 10 news. (Xinhua-ANI)