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Netanyahu: Graft investigations are ‘boneless’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Brussels, Belgium on 11 December 2017 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday that the graft investigations conducted against him are “boneless”.

In a statement, the Prime Minister’s office said: “Now, after the 12th interrogation, it’s entirely clear that the investigations of the prime minister are not only meatless — they are boneless,” according to the Times of Israel.

Netanyahu's corruption scandal - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Netanyahu’s corruption scandal – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

“This time, too, the prime minister responded to all of the questions he was asked with full confidence, fully aware that nothing happened and therefore nothing will happen,” the statement added.

According to the Times of Israel, the questioning focused on Case 1000, sometimes known as the “gifts scandal,” in which Netanyahu “systematically” demanded benefits worth about one million shekels ($282,000) from billionaire benefactors in exchange for personal favours.

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The questioning also focused on Case 2000, in which Netanyahu allegedly struck a deal with the publisher of Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Arnon Mozes, that would have seen Netanyahu weaken rival newspaper Israel Hayom in return for more favourable coverage of his time in office.

The Times of Israel said it was not clear whether the police asked Netanyahu about Case 4000, a separate investigation into whether he advanced regulatory decisions that benefited Shaul Elovitch, the owner of telecom giant Bezeq, in return for positive coverage from Elovitch’s Walla news site. Both Netanyahu’s wife Sara and son Yair are also suspects in Case 4000.

The prosecution of Netanyahu’s wife over accusations related to misuse of public funds will start on Sunday, the newspaper said. If convicted Sara Netanyahu could face up to five years in prison.

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