Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was named as a suspect in two cases involving bribery and fraud Thursday and his former chief of staff has agreed to testify against him.
Netanyahu has been questioned for months in cases involving fraud, breach of trust and bribes. Israeli police released a gag order Thursday to prohibit media from reporting details of negotiations with Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, Ari Harow, who has agreed to serve as a state witness in the cases.
The prime minister’s office denied any wrongdoing in a statement Thursday night, saying the allegations are part of a campaign to “replace the government.”
“We completely reject the unfounded claims against the prime minister,” the statement reads, according to the Associated Press.
One investigation, dubbed “Case 1000,” involves Netanyahu allegedly accepting tens of thousands of dollars in gifts — including champagne, suits and exclusive cigars — from wealthy businessmen.
The so-called “Case 2000” concerns conversations Netanyahu reportedly had with publisher Arnon Mozes of the Yediot Ahronot newspaper group to strike a deal that would give the prime minister positive coverage in exchange for legislation that would hit Yediot’s main competitor.
Sheldon Adelson, chairman and majority owner of Las Vegas Sands Corp., and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan are two of the people who have been questioned by investigators.
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