Ne­tanyahu to be ques­tioned next week for sixth time

The Jerusalem Post - - FRONT PAGE - • By UDI SHAHAM

Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu will be ques­tioned by the La­hav 433 Na­tional Crime Unit for the sixth time next Sun­day, ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports on Tues­day.

Ne­tanyahu is be­ing ques­tioned in two cor­rup­tion cases – File 1000, dubbed the “Gifts Af­fair,” and 2000, be­ing called the “Ye­diot Aharonot Af­fair.”

Ac­cord­ing to Chan­nel 2 News, a se­nior law en­force­ment of­fi­cial said ques­tion­ing Ne­tanyahu only 10 days af­ter the prior in­ter­ro­ga­tion was part of the ef­fort to “speed up the pace” of the investigation. In com­par­i­son, it was eight months be­tween Ne­tanyahu’s third and fourth in­ter­ro­ga­tions.

The of­fi­cial also said Ne­tanyahu’s in­ves­ti­ga­tions were at their end­ing phases and that at this point the in­ter­roga­tors were plan­ning to con­front him with tes­ti­mony and ev­i­dence col­lected in re­cent months.

Po­lice re­fused to con­firm the Chan­nel 2 News re­port to The Jerusalem Post.

Last Thurs­day, in­ves­ti­ga­tors ques­tioned Ne­tanyahu over the Gifts Af­fair for more than four hours at his of­fi­cial res­i­dence in Jerusalem. Dur­ing the ques­tion­ing, La­hav 433 mem­bers con­fronted him with the tes­ti­mony of Hol­ly­wood movie mogul Arnon Milchan.

In Au­gust, it was re­vealed that Ne­tanyahu was sus­pected of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in that case for the al­leged im­proper re­ceipt of gifts from dif­fer­ent busi­ness­men.

Milchan has con­firmed that he reg­u­larly sent cigars and other gifts to the prime min­is­ter and his wife, Sara.

It was re­ported on Mon­day that Hadas Klein, Milchan’s per­sonal as­sis­tant, also tes­ti­fied in Case 1000. Klein is con­sid­ered a key wit­ness in this investigation.

In her tes­ti­mony, she talked about mas­sive sup­plies of Cham­pagne and cigars. How­ever, she stated that she didn’t know what Milchan

got in re­turn, ac­cord­ing to the re­port. Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing sev­eral sit­u­a­tions in which Ne­tanyahu may al­legedly have used his power for the ben­e­fit of the pro­ducer.

The prime min­is­ter has ac­knowl­edged ac­cept­ing gifts from Milchan, but main­tains they were ex­changed be­tween friends and did not con­sti­tute bribery or breach of trust. He has de­nied any wrong­do­ing.

“It is al­lowed – ac­cord­ing to the law – to re­ceive gifts from friends,” he said at the Knes­set in Jan­uary.

“Arnon Milchan and I have been friends for over 20 years. We are good friends, our wives are good friends,” he said.

In Case 2000, Ne­tanyahu al­legedly ne­go­ti­ated with pub­lisher Arnon “Noni” Mozes for fa­vor­able cov­er­age of him­self in Ye­diot Aharonot in ex­change for Mozes’s sup­port of a bill to weaken Is­rael Hayom, the largest cir­cu­la­tion He­brew-lan­guage pa­per and Ye­diot’s big­gest com­peti­tor. •

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