Ne­tanyahu in­quiry specifics re­leased

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

JERUSALEM — Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu is ac­cused of crimes in­volv­ing fraud, breach of trust and bribes in two cor­rup­tion cases, Is­raeli po­lice re­vealed Thurs­day.

Po­lice have been ques­tion­ing Ne­tanyahu for months over the cases but have re­leased few de­tails. It re­leased a gag or­der Thurs­day night on the re­port­ing of de­tails of talks that are un­der­way to en­list a state wit­ness.

The doc­u­ment says the cases in­volv­ing Ne­tanyahu deal with “a sus­pi­cion of com­mit­ting crimes of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.”

Ne­tanyahu’s of­fice has re­peat­edly de­nied wrong­do­ing over the in­ves­ti­ga­tions, por­tray­ing the ac­cu­sa­tions as a witch hunt against him and his fam­ily by a hos­tile me­dia op­posed to his hard-line po­lit­i­cal views.

A state­ment from his of­fice Thurs­day night said, “We com­pletely re­ject the un­founded claims against the prime min­is­ter.” It said the al­le­ga­tions are part of a cam­paign to “re­place the govern­ment,” and “there will be noth­ing, be­cause there was noth­ing.”

One in­ves­ti­ga­tion, dubbed “File 1000,” re­port­edly con­cerns claims that Ne­tanyahu im­prop­erly ac­cepted gifts from wealthy sup­port­ers such as Aus­tralian bil­lion­aire James Packer and Hol­ly­wood pro­ducer Arnon Milchan.

The sec­ond in­ves­ti­ga­tion, “File 2000,” re­port­edly con­cerns Ne­tanyahu’s al­leged at­tempts to strike a deal with pub­lisher Arnon Mozes of the Ye­diot Ahronot news­pa­per group to pro­mote leg­is­la­tion to weaken Ye­diot’s main com­peti­tor in ex­change for more fa­vor­able cov­er­age of him by Ye­diot.

Ne­tanyahu, who took of­fice in 2009, has long had an im­age as a cigar-smok­ing, co­gnac-drink­ing so­cialite, while his wife, Sara, has been ac­cused of abu­sive be­hav­ior to­ward staff mem­bers. Op­po­nents have por­trayed both as be­ing out of touch with the strug­gles of av­er­age Is­raelis.

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