Report: Investigation of Netanyahu to continue for at least two months

The criminal probe into the prime minister's conduct in two separate cases is expected to last longer than what police had assessed it would, and could possibly continue for another two months.

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April 3, 2017 21:09
1 minute read.
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Prime Minister Benjmain Netanyahu addresses the 2017 AIPAC Policy Conference by video, March 27, 2017. (photo credit: screenshot)

 
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The investigation into alleged illegal gifts received by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will continue for at least two months, Channel 2 reported on Monday.

Police reportedly still need to obtain testimony from Australian billionaire James Packer and conduct judicial inquiries abroad. Packer is suspected of giving Netanyahu’s son Yair gifts in an attempt to influence the premier.

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This appears to contradict a statement by Insp.-Gen. Roni Alsheich in early March that police investigators likely would finish “within a number of weeks.” In late January, Alsheich also said that investigation was in its final stages.

According to the report, police are still likely to recommend an indictment in the investigation, termed Case 1000. However, even if recommended, it would likely not be filed by the Attorney-General’s Office until at least the summer of 2018.

Netanyahu was questioned for a fourth time in March on suspicions that he and his wife, Sara, received illegal gifts of cigars, champagne and jewelry, with a total value in the tens of thousands of shekels from Israeli billionaire Arnon Milchan.

Throughout the investigation, Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing, repeating his mantra: “There will be nothing, because there is nothing.”

In early March, investigators from the Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit obtained testimony from Milchan, and Netanyahu was asked about Milchan’s statements in his fourth questioning.
Benjamin Netanyahu dismissive of corruption allegations on January 2, 2017

Meanwhile, police are also investigating criminal suspicions termed Case 2000, in which Yediot Aharonot publisher Arnon Mozes and Netanyahu are alleged to have conspired to weaken the Israel Hayom free daily in exchange for favorable coverage of the premier.

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