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Police have ‘sufficient evidence’ to charge Netanyahu with fraud

Image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 11 February 2017 [Anadolu Ajansı/Facebook
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 11 February 2017 [Anadolu Ajansı/Facebook

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to be summoned for questioning again on fraud charges, Israel Hayom reported on Thursday. In what is known as Case 1000, he is accused of receiving gifts worth tens thousands of dollars from Hollywood film producer Arnon Milchan.

According to the newspaper, investigators believe that they have sufficient evidence to indict the Israeli leader. Netanyahu is accused of “acts constituting fraud, breach of trust, and accepting bribes.” It cited the Israeli police as saying that the investigations with Milchen in London “achieved their goal in full, and with great success.”

Milchen had previously filed a statement regarding gifts he gave to Netanyahu, including cigars, champagne and jewellery. The investigators dismissed Netanyahu’s claims that the gifts were from friends by pointing out that the value of the gifts exceeded the amount allowed for gifts to state officials and the suspicions are that something was expected in return for them.

One suspicion is that Sara Netanyahu, the prime minister’s wife, received hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts from Milchen to promote his business interests. Police in Israel also suspect that Netanyahu persuaded British-American billionaire Len Blavatnik to buy shares in Israel’s Channel 10 from which Milchan profited. Israel Hayom estimated that Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit will indict Sara Netanyahu on fraud of NIS 400,000 ($101,000).

Read: More scandals hit Israel with Netanyahu’s wife to be charged and ex-head of naval intelligence arrested

Meanwhile, the newspaper said that an investigation into irregularities in Israel’s acquisition of submarines and other naval vessels from a German shipyard, known as Case 3000, will continue for at least another year due the vast amount of information and documents provided by state witness Miki Ganor. The police are apparently trying to recruit another witness in the case, and expect to arrest more Israeli officials and public figures.

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