(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Israel Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Roni Alsheich said on Monday that police investigators are at the final stages of their criminal investigations into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"We will soon end [the investigation], we are in the final stages,” Alsheich said while speaking to press at a ceremony appointing a new commissioner for the National Fire and Rescue Service.
“I assume that within a number of weeks the police examination will be finished,” Alsheich said, adding that new developments could delay the investigation.
The news comes as the prime minster is expected to be questioned under caution by police for a fourth time on Monday. The police questioning will likely deal with both criminal investigations into Netanyahu, termed Case 1000 and Case 2000.
Case 1000 deals with allegations that the prime minister and his wife Sara Netanyahu accepted illegal gifts of cigars, champagne Israeli movie mogul Arnon Milchan. Netanyahu’s son Yair is also alleged to have accepted gifts from Australian billionaire James Packer.
According to a report in Channel 2 on Sunday the police investigation into Case 1000 may take longer than previously thought, it was postponed from the end of March to sometime in April as police had difficulties coordinating the questioning with Netanyahu due to his extensive foreign travel schedule. The police have also had difficulties coordinating the foreign judicial inquiry of Australian billionaire James Packer - for personal and medical reasons and the foreign judicial inquiry of Israeli billionaire Arnon Milchan for unclear reasons. Both billionaires are suspected of giving illegal gifts to the prime minister and his family.
In the separate Case 2000, the prime minister is suspected of attempting to broker favorable media coverage with Yediot Aharonot
publisher Arnon Mozes in exchange for supporting a 2014 bill to weaken competing newspaper Israel Hayom.
According to Sunday’s report police are still seeking to receive a statement from US billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a Netanyahu confidant and owner of Israel Hayom.
In both cases, Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing repeating his often stated claim, “there will be nothing, because there is nothing.”