Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Israeli PM Netanyahu quizzed by police in corruption case involving telecom firm

Israeli police question PM Netanyahu in telecom corruption case Police question Benjamin Netanyahu over third corruption case
| 03 March, 2018, 00:38

Police said that Netanyahu's wife, Sara, was also questioned in the case.

Ian Deitch is an Associated Press writer.

Channel 10 news reported on Thursday that investigators are in possession of correspondence between Sara Netanyahu and Elovitch's wife that appear to implicate the prime minister's wife in the burgeoning scandal. It is now up to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to decide whether to indict Netanyahu in those cases, dubbed Case 1000 and Case 2000.

The controlling shareholder of Bezeq Telecom, Shaul Elovitch, is now in police custody, along with a former Netanyahu spokesman.They deny any wrongdoing.

About 70 protesters gathered outside Mr Netanyahu's residence yesterday, demanding that he step down.

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 has been questioned seven times already in two separate corruption cases, and has been named a suspect in both of them; but he is expected to be questioned for the first time Friday in two newer - and bigger - cases, known as Case 3000 and Case 4000.


Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, a member of the ultranationalist party Jewish Home, said that according to the law, Netanyahu can stay in the job through the end of his trial.

It was recordings provided to police by Yeshua that reportedly persuaded another suspect in the case, former Communications Ministry director Shlomo Filber, to turn state's witness in the case.

Some drivers touted their horns in support as they drove by.

Netanyahu, Israel's dominant political figure for a generation - in power since 2009 and for 12 years in total since 1996 - calls the allegations against him a "witch hunt".

Netanyahu is accused of accepting almost $300,000 in lavish gifts from Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer. In return, police say Mr. Netanyahu operated on Mr. Milchan's behalf on US visa matters, legislated a tax break and connected him with an Indian businessman.

The second case relates to an alleged deal for favorable coverage with Arnon Mozes, publisher of prominent Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Ahronoth.

Despite the allegations surrounding Netanyahu, his political position appears as strong as ever, and members of his right-wing coalition say they have no intention of dismantling the government unless the attorney general decides to pursue an indictment against him. Recent polls show Netanyahu's Likud ahead of other factions in the Knesset. A third think he should remain in office.

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