Police grills Israeli premier for sixth time in graft probe
Israeli police have questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his residence in occupied Jerusalem al-Quds for the sixth time in a corruption probe, Israeli media reports say.
Israel’s Channel Two TV said that police investigators arrived at the premier’s residence shortly after 4:00 pm (1400 GMT) Sunday. The interview session reportedly lasted several hours.
This is the sixth time that Israeli police investigators have grilled Netanyahu for corruption. It was their second visit in 10 days, after the premier was questioned for about four hours on November 9.
Netanyahu is a suspect in two cases, one involving the receipt of gifts from businessmen and the other related to alleged conversations he held with an Israeli newspaper publisher about limiting competition in the news sector in exchange for more positive coverage.
He is also suspected of having received luxury gifts from Israeli businessman and Hollywood producer, Arnon Milchan. Milchan reportedly sent him boxes of expensive cigars and other items worth tens of thousands of dollars. The producer was himself questioned in September.
The police also suspect that the premier sought a secret pact for favorable coverage with the publisher of the top-selling Yediot Aharonotnewspaper. The alleged deal would have seen Netanyahu receiving favorable coverage in return for helping curb Yediot‘s competitor, the pro-Netanyahu newsletter, Israel Hayom.
Earlier this month, Netanyahu confidants, Yitzhak Molcho and David Shimron, who are partners in a law firm and both relatives of the premier, had been questioned as part of a different investigation into a $2 billion submarine deal with Germany.
Netanyahu, who has been in power since 2009, says he has been the target of a smear campaign by political opponents.