An image grab taken from an AFP video shows a vehicle belonging to the Israeli police at the entrance to the residence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 2, 2018..
(photo credit: AHIKAM SERI / AFP)
Israel Police concluded five hours of questioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his official residence in Jerusalem on Friday regarding his involvement in the “Bezeq affair,” otherwise known as Case 4000.
Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, simultaneously testifyied over her involvement in the case at the Lahav 433 National Crime Unit headquarters in Lod.
The questioning was reportedly carried out at the same time in order to prevent the obstruction of justice.
PM Netanyahu reacts to claims against him in Case 4000 (Facebook-Benjamin Netanyahu)
Case 4000 refers to a corruption investigation looking into the relationship between Netanyahu and Elovitch, who also owns the Walla news site.
Police suspect Netanyahu acted to benefit Bezeq in return for favorable coverage on the news site. Police also suspect that Sara Netanyahu was in touch with Elovitch’s wife, Iris, and through her acted to receive favorable coverage in Walla.
In 2015, Sara Netanyahu texted Iris Elovitch regarding an article that was published in Walla, reprimanded her and asked her to change it, Channel 10 News reported on Wednesday.
The prime minister’s wife was quoted as saying: “You are killing me. You are slaughtering us. You are ruining the country."
“What kind of a website is it?” she asked. “What’s going on here? Change it. Do something with it. You are the owners of the website. Do it quickly.”
Channel 10 News reported Thursday that police possess text message-correspondence between Sara Netanyahu and Iris Elovitch regarding benefits that would be given to Bezeq in return for the favorable coverage in Walla.
Police also have recordings that were given to them by Walla CEO Ilan Yeshua, in which the pressure by Shaul and Iris Elvoitch for favorable coverage for the Netanyahus is demonstrated, according to reports.
In their recordings, Elovitch tells Yeshua that Netanyahu “made an effort for us, we should do the same for him,” according to Channel 10 News.
Channel 10 News previously reported that as part of his testimony, Yeshua told his interrogators he was pressured to fire Walla editor-in-chief Aviram Elad after he approved posting an article on the “submarines affair” that “the Netanyahu couple didn’t like.”
According to the report, Yeshua said that after the article was published in November 2016, Sara Netanyahu started looking for more background information on Elad and found an article he wrote in which he expressed his support for the Iran nuclear deal that her husband had opposed.
The couple then turned to Elovitch and asked him to fire Elad. Elovitch relayed that to Yeshua, who rejected the demand.
In response to Thursday's reports, the Prime Minister’s Office stated they are “fake news,” and rejected all the claims against the prime minister and his wife.