Sheldon and Miriam Adelson to testify in Netanyahu probe

Monday will be the first time Miriam Adelson will be testifying regarding the Netanyahu case.

June 26, 2017 01:57
1 minute read.
Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheldon Adelson

Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheldon Adelson. (photo credit: REUTERS)

US billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam are expected to give testimony Monday in the ongoing investigation into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s contacts with Arnon Mozes, the publisher of the Yediot Aharonot newspaper.

A police official confirmed that the couple, who are not suspects in the investigation, are slated to give testimony at the offices of the Lahav 433 investigations unit in Lod.

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Monday’s testimony will be Miriam’s first. Her husband previously gave testimony in late May while he was in Israel for US President Donald Trump’s visit.

The investigation, termed Case 2000, revolves around recordings of Netanyahu and Mozes in which the two men allegedly sought to weaken the Adelson-funded Israel Hayom in exchange for favorable coverage of the premier.

Israel Hayom is a free daily generally seen as pro-Netanyahu, which has undercut Yediot’s advertising revenue.

Netanyahu has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the case, saying: “There will be nothing, because there is nothing.”

Channel 2 reported on Sunday that Adelson told police in May that he did not know anything about Netanyahu’s meetings with Mozes, but expressed anger that the prime minister allegedly held the meetings with Mozes behind his back.

According to leaks of the Netanyahu-Mozes conversations reported by Channel 2 in January, Netanyahu allegedly told the Yediot publisher he would ask Adelson, whom he referred to as the “redhead,” whether a Knesset bill to weaken Israel Hayom would be acceptable to him.

In 2014, Zionist Union MK Eitan Cabel initiated the so-called Israel Hayom Bill, which sought to bolster the print newspaper industry by banning free newspapers, including the pro-Netanyahu Israel Hayom. Two weeks after the legislation passed in preliminary reading, Netanyahu dissolved the Knesset, halting the measure’s progress.

The prime minister is also being investigated over suspicions that he accepted illegal gifts from businessmen totaling in the tens of thousands of shekels. Channel 2 has reported that police will recommend indicting Netanyahu in the gifts case, though the final decision will be made by Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit.

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