TEL AVIV – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces three investigations over alleged corruption, was questioned again by police over a case involving Israel’s largest telecoms firm on Tuesday.
The authorities claim Netanyahu awarded regulatory favors to Bezeq Telecom Israel in return for favorable coverage of him and his wife on a news website owned by the company. Netanyahu, Bezeq and its owner have all denied wrongdoing.
Netanyahu has been questioned over the case before and police have yet to make a recommendation about charges.
In a brief statement that gave no details about the investigation, a police spokesman said Netanyahu was questioned for several hours at the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem by the police anti-corruption unit.
A spokesman for Netanyahu said “nothing new was presented to the prime minister today” by investigators probing so-called Case 4000. Netanyahu, the spokesman said in a statement, “never made any deal” with the website owner for favorable coverage.
In the two other cases in which police have already recommended that Netanyahu be charged with bribery, the final decision about whether to prosecute rests with the Israeli attorney general. It could be months away.
So far, partners in Netanyahu’s governing coalition have stood by him, saying they are awaiting the attorney general’s next moves. However, political pressure could mount on Netanyahu to step down if he is charged.
Netanyahu could also call a snap election to try to stall legal proceedings during the campaign and rally his right-wing power base behind him. Polls show Netanyahu’s Likud party gaining seats and positioned far ahead of all other factions.
Leave a Reply