Police question Netanyahu for fifth time in corruption case

Police question Netanyahu for fifth time in corruption case

"We confirm that the prime minister was interrogated for several hours at his residence in Jerusalem, as part of the investigation conducted by the Lahav 433" anti-corruption unit, police said in a statement.

The interrogation was the fifth round of questioning in several ongoing probes against the premier, dubbed Case 1000 and Case 2000.

In the wake of the recent coalition-proposed bill against law enforcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be questioned this afternoon (Thursday) concerning the two cases in which he is suspected of bribery - Case File 1000 (the gift affair) and Case File 2000 (the Netanyahu-Mozes affair).

Israeli media reported Thursday that the cases have yielded sufficient materials to lead to an indictment, and that this latest session of probing is part of the closing stages of the investigation.

Dermer, considered a close associate of Netanyahu, confirmed to police that at the direction of the prime minister, he asked then-secretary of state John Kerry to help obtain a visa for Milchan, according to the Hadashot news (formerly Channel 2).

Detectives were reportedly also keen to question Netanyahu on a second affair, known as case 2,000, which is examining allegations that he improperly sought a deal to get more favourable coverage from one of Israel's leading newspapers, Yedioth Ahronoth.

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Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, have denied that receiving the gifts constitutes a criminal offense, claiming the value of the items was significantly lower than reported, and that they were mere "trifles" exchanged between close friends.

Netanyahu gave a statement later saying, "I repeat, there will be nothing because there is nothing", a phrase he has reiterated many times.

The alleged deal, believed to have not been finalised, would have meant Netanyahu getting positive coverage in return for helping curb Yediot's competitor, the pro-Netanyahu freesheet Israel Hayom.

The current questioning comes about three months after Netanyahu's former aide, Ari Harow, had signed an agreement to become a state witness.

Netanyahu's diplomatic envoy Yitzchak Molcho and his legal partner David Shimron, who is also Netanyahu's cousin and personal attorney, were detained on Sunday and questioned for two days in connection with the case.

Case 1000 focuses on gifts - champagne, cigars, jets and hotels - valued at almost $200,000 that the Netanyahu family received from Milchen and Australian casino giant James Packer.

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