Israeli police grill Netanyahu in telecoms corruption case

03 March, 2018, 00:19 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Correspondence shows Sara Netanyahu also implicated in Bezeq probe — report

Binyamin Netanyahu said he was confident that "nothing will happen" after he was questioned by police for five hours as part of a corruption investigation.

Netanyahu and his wife Sara spent 5 hours on Friday being interrogated by police unit Lahav 433 concerning their involvement in Case 4000.

Last month, two of confidantes Mr. Netanyahu were arrested on a suspicion of promoting regulation worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Bezeq telecom company. Netanyahu is suspected of acting to benefit internet giant Bezeq, also owned by Elovitch, for favorable coverage on the news site.

Elovitch, his wife and son, and Netanyahu's former media adviser Nir Hefetz have all spent time in jail over the last week for their alleged role in the affair, which police refer to as Case 4000.

Police urged in February which Netanyahu be indicted in two other corruption analyses.

Sources close to Netanyahu, who himself has denied any wrongdoing in the case, rejected claims that the prime minister had sought to help Bezeq as part of a quid pro quo deal.

About 70 protesters gathered outside the prime minister's residence, demanding he step down.

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The company has denied wrongdoing.

Public radio said on Friday that both were being questioned at fraud squad headquarters simultaneously with Sara but separately.

Police have not yet called for an indictment in this case.

Shlomo Filber, a confidant of both Netanyahu and former director general of the Communications Ministry, has also been detained in connection with the case, also has agreed to turn state's opinion, according to Israeli press.

According to the police recommendation, Case 1000 involves gifts of cigars and jewelry that the prime minister and his wife are suspected of receiving from billionaire benefactors such as Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian business executive James Packer. In return, police say Mr Netanyahu operated on Mr Milchan's behalf on USA visa matters, legislated a tax break and connected him with an Indian businessman.

Television footage showed police investigators entering Netanyahu's residence.

Case 2000 involves a suspected illicit quid-pro-quo deal between Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper publisher Arnon Mozes that would have seen the prime minister weaken a rival daily, the Sheldon Adelson-backed Israel Hayom, in return for more favorable coverage from Yedioth. Political analysts say this may change whether the investigations against Netanyahu intensify.


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