'The brutish and arrogant demeanor of Knesset member and coalition chairman David Bitan personified the reckless power of the coalition and the Likud Party until Dec. 3. Bitan was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's biggest political backer, in the Knesset and TV studios alike. He offered Netanyahu a sense of quiet confidence with his high-handed oversight of legislation intended to ensure the prime minister's personal survival.
Early Sunday morning, just before he could set out on another destructive task on Netanyahu's behalf — in this case, pushing the "recommendations law" forward — Bitan was summoned to a police interview that lasted about 14 hours. It was almost midnight when he was finally released. Although he tried to relay the sense that business would continue as usual, Bitan was already a lame duck when he limped out of the interrogation room, up to his neck in serious suspicions of corruption. Bitan is expected to be interrogated again on Dec. 6. As reports of these interrogations become clearer, it is not at all certain that he will be able to continue serving as chairman of the coalition.
Bitan's interview sent shockwaves through Netanyahu's coalition, and not only because he has played such a central role in maintaining the coalition. The interrogation took place in the midst of his efforts to pass the recommendations law, also known as the "Bibi law." The law would prevent police from sharing with the prosecution whether there are grounds for indictment. The bill was intended to protect Netanyahu as the investigation into some his affairs comes to a conclusion, by preventing the police from releasing any future recommendation to indict him.'
Read more: Netanyahu on damage control after right-hand man interrogated
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