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Israel Police question Netanyahu in telecom corruption case

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]

Israeli police questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today over his alleged dealings with the country’s largest telecommunication company, Israel Radio said, in one of three corruption cases weighing on the leader’s political future.

It was the second time the prime minister had been questioned in the investigation. He is suspected of awarding regulatory favours to Bezeq Telecom Israel in return for favourable coverage on a news site the company’s owner controls.

Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and says he is the victim of a witch hunt.

Israeli media said Netanyahu’s wife and son would be questioned separately in the telecoms investigation over their relationship with Bezeq’s owner and his spouse.

Video footage showed a police car pulling into the driveway of the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem. A police spokesman and a lawyer for the Netanyahu family declined comment.

Read: Israeli politicians suspect Netanyahu seeks election to survive corruption probes

Bezeq has denied wrongdoing. Police have yet to make a recommendation about charges in the case.

Two former Netanyahu confidants have agreed to turn state’s witness in the case. One is Shlomo Filber, the former director general of the Communications Ministry, the other is Nir Hefetz, a former spokesman of Netanyahu.

The Israeli PM is currently entangled in three other political scandals: Case 1000 which involves allegations that the PM and his wife accepted illegal gifts from businessmen; Case 2000 which accuses Netanyahu of attempting to buy favourable newspaper coverage; and Case 3000, also known as the “submarine scandal”.

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