Jerusalem, Oct 6 (IANS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was questioned on Friday for the 12th time, in two cases in which the police recommended to indict him for bribery and other offences.
Investigators of “Lahav 433,” a national anti-corruption police unit, arrived at the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem at 9 a.m. and questioned him for about five hours, Xinhua news agency reported.
In front of the residence, protesters gathered with a large banner bearing Netanyahu’s face and the words “crime minister” and chanting slogans calling for justice.
Netanyahu is suspected of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in “Case 1000”, also known as the “Gifts Case”, regarding his relationship with Israeli businessman Arnon Milchan and Australian businessman James Packer.
The police claim that the two have given Netanyahu for many years various types of benefits in return for receiving certain perks.
Netanyahu is also suspected of similar offences in “Case 2000”, in which the police claim that the owner of “Yedioth Ahronoth” newspaper, Arnon Mozes, promised him positive coverage in return for restrictions imposed on the “Israel Hayom” rival newspaper.
“Israel Hayom” is owned by Jewish-American billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a close friend of Netanyahu.
The Prime Minister’s office rejected the accusations, saying that “this time, too, the Prime Minister answered the questions with complete confidence, out of the clear knowledge that there was nothing and therefore there will be nothing.”
Netanyahu’s interrogation took place two days before the planned start of his wife’s trial, who is accused of fraudulently obtaining funding from the prime minister’s office to order hundreds of meals from restaurants, worth more than 350,000 new shekels (about $97,000).
Netanyahu was last questioned on August 17 in “Case 4000”, a corruption case involving Israel’s telecom giant Bezeq.