Netanyahu Faces Police Questioning In Corruption Probe

Will Racke | Immigration and Foreign Policy Reporter

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced questions from police Friday in connection with a corruption investigation, two weeks after investigators recommended he be indicted on separate bribery and breach of trust charges.

Netanyahu and his wife Sara were both interrogated in relation to the so-called Case 4000, reports Bloomberg, citing local media. The case involves allegations of government officials trading regulatory benefits for Bezeq, a top telecommunication firm, in return for positive media coverage of Netanyahu and his associates.

Police have not identified Netanyahu as a suspect in Case 4000, but he is the subject of two other corruption probes. (RELATED: Israeli Police Recommend Bribery Indictment For Netanyahu)

In one case, Netanyahu allegedly received over $100,000 in gifts from Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan and other wealthy associates. The other investigation involves the so-called “Yediot Aharonot affair,” in which Netanyahu allegedly reached an agreement with the publisher of a newspaper to receive favorable coverage, in exchange for supporting a bill to weaken a competitor of that paper.

Netanyahu has repeatedly denied wrongdoing in both cases and has questioned the integrity of high-ranking officers handling the investigations, calling the probes a politically motivated “witch hunt.”

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Israel’s attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, must decide whether to press charges in either case, a decision that could take months. In the meantime, Netanyahu is not obligated to resign and has indicated he will fight the charges while remaining in office.

Recent polling shows that about half of Israelis believe the police and think Netanyahu should step down, reports Reuters. But surveys also show strong support among Netanyahu’s core base, while the Likud Party remains ahead of all other Israeli parties.

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