Published: Sat, March 03, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Israel PM, wife questioned again over graft allegations

Israel PM, wife questioned again over graft allegations

The questioning follows a recommendation from Israeli police that Netanyahu be indicted on corruption charges in two other cases - and before his visit to Washington, D.C., next week to speak to pro-Israel lobbyists.

Earlier in the week, the news outlet published a text message sent by Sara Netanyahu to Iris Elovitch, blasting coverage of the Netanyahus on Walla and urging her to "quickly" change it.

Netanyahu is accused of accepting almost $300,000 in lavish gifts from the Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan and the Australian billionaire James Packer.

Netanyahu is suspected to have in return sought to help Milchan receive tax benefits that some reports said could have been worth millions of dollars.

In exchange Netanyahu allegedly raised the possibility of passing legislation to limit the circulation of Israel Hayom, a free newspaper that is the main rival to Yediot.

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Investigators questioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Friday as part of their ongoing corruption investigation.

In the most recent investigation, known as Case 4000, authorities allege the owners of Bezeq Israel Telecom supplied equitable policy of Netanyahu and his spouse on a news site they controlled in return for info from communications regulators.

The Israeli media said Bezeq Israel Telecom controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch and former Netanyahu spokesman Nir Hefetz were also being questioned.

Filber, Elovitch and Hefetz remain in custody. He is also suspected of trying to bribe a retired judge to block a probe into the prime minister's wife over alleged misuse of public funds.

Netanyahu's personal lawyer and one of his closest confidants, David Shimron, reportedly represented the German company behind the submarine contract.

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A Reuters cameraman saw a vehicle carrying two police officers pull to the prime minister's official home on Friday morning.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and his wife Sara Netanyahu at the Knesset in Jerusalem, June 28, 2017.

A final case, dubbed 3000, is being investigated separately and has involved Netanyahu allies, but the prime minister has not been named as a suspect.

Netanyahu was questioned at the official residence in Jerusalem under caution for five hours in the Bezeq affair, also known as Case 4000, while his wife Sara Netanyahu gave testimony at the offices of the police's Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit in Lod, Israeli media reported.

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

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