PM and wife questioned by police on Bezeq corruption case

03 March, 2018, 00:37 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu right and Israel's First lady Sara Netanyahu arrive for the Likud party primary elections at the in Jerusalem. Israeli police questioned Benjamin Netanyah

On February 13 Israeli police recommended Netanyahu be indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of public trust in two cases known as 1000 and 2000.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to his Facebook page Friday afternoon to wish his followers a happy Purim, and to reiterate his position that the Israeli police will not find anything incriminating in their investigations surrounding him.

Mr Netanyahu was questioned at his official residence just hours before he was due to fly to the United States.

Israeli police investigators on Friday questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for five hours about allegations concerning the Bezeq corruption case. Nir Hefetz was Mr Netanyahu's head of communications and David Sharan served as his chief of staff.

A police spokesman declined to comment on the report that Mr Netanyahu was questioned. The final choice on both instances could take weeks.

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Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing in all of the instances.

Earlier this week, Channel 10 reported on Whatsapp messages that Sara Netanyahu sent to Iris Elovitch, Shaul's wife, complaining about Walla's coverage and asking why a certain Walla editor had not yet been fired. They are both possible criminal suspects in the case.

"We want to see Netanyahu go to trial and, if needed, go to jail or go home".

"A prime minister under investigation can not, and may not, take crucial decisions", said Shuki Cohen, 63, an economist from Moshav Arugot.

Case 2000 focuses on an alleged clandestine deal made between Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth publisher and owner Arnon "Noni" Mozes, in which the 68-year-old chairman of the Likud party promised Mozes he would support a bill to reduce the circulation of Yedioth's main commercial rival, the Hebrew-language freebie Israel Hayom, in exchange for favorable coverage of himself in Yedioth.

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Israel's Attorney General is weighing up that evidence and is expected to decide in a few months whether to bring charges.

In Case 4000, investigators say the ministry illegally advanced Bezeq's interests in exchange for favorable news coverage for the Israeli leader.

So far Netanyahu's political allies have said they are standing by him, until they hear from the Attorney General.

Netanyahu could also call a snap election to try to stall legal proceedings during the campaign and rally his right-wing power base behind him.

However, surveys also show that about half of Israelis believe the police over Netanyahu and think he should step down. In the meantime, Netanyahu is not obligated to resign and has indicated he will fight the charges while remaining in office.

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