Israel national security adviser investigated over gas interests

JERUSALEM, June 25 Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:06pm EDT

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JERUSALEM, June 25 (Reuters) - Israel's Justice Ministry said on Tuesday it was examining whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's national security adviser had a conflict of interest regarding the fast-developing energy industry.

Yaakov Amidror, whose term is due to end this year, denied violating a "conflict of interest agreement" he had signed when he entered Netanyahu's inner circle in 2011.

Amidror, officials said, had, prior to becoming National Security Advisor, served briefly as an advisor to U.S. exploration company Noble Energy, which in recent years made large natural gas discoveries off Israel's shore.

The Justice Ministry said in a statement that it had received "information of apparent involvement by Mr. Yaakov Amidror in the matter of energy".

The attorney general questioned Amidror and the issue is now being examined, the ministry said.

Amidror, in a written statement, said he had not participated in discussions held over the past year to determine Israel's gas export policy.

"I am not dealing with the matters of one private company or another on the subject of gas," he said.

"My only dealing in the subject of gas is in the diplomatic-security aspects, and with no contradiction to the conflict of interest agreement I signed upon entering (the position)."

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