Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife, Sara, and son Yair were questioned by the Israel Police and the Israel Securities Authority on Monday as part of the Case 4000 investigation, otherwise known as the “Bezeq affair.”
Police reportedly used a monitoring room and simultaneously questioned eight figures involved in the case: Benjamin Netanyahu; Sara Netanyahu; Yair Netanyahu; Bezeq Telecommunications Corp. controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch and his wife, Iris; former Bezeq CEO Stella Handler; former Communications Ministry director-general Shlomo Filber; and Netanyahu’s former media adviser Nir Hefetz. The latter two recently signed state’s-witness deals and were asked to comment on the information that was given by the suspects.
Netanyahu’s former chief of staff David Sharan was summoned to testify to the police in the case, it was reported.
While the prime minister was questioned for four and a half hours in his official residence in Jerusalem, the others were questioned at Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit headquarters in Lod.
Case 4000 is an investigation into the relationship between Netanyahu and Elovitch. Police suspect Netanyahu acted to benefit Bezeq in return for favorable coverage by the Walla news website, which also is controlled by Elovitch.
This is Netanyahu’s second round of questioning in the case and the first since Hefetz signed the state’s-witness deal. According to reports, Hefetz provided the police with recordings and documents.
It was also reported that police wished to confront Sara Netanyahu with Hefetz and Filber, but she refused.
Later on Monday, the prime minister posted a video on Facebook that said in light of the questions he was asked, he had full confidence he will be exonerated.
“I have full confidence, after this encounter [with the police], just like others, that there will be nothing, because there was nothing,” Netanyahu said, repeating his known slogan.
He then wished the citizens of Israel a happy Passover, adding: “I will celebrate this holiday with my family with a lot of joy and confidence, with a lot of haroset and zero bitter herbs,” he said, referring to his speech last week to Likud supporters, in which he said the media is carrying out a witch hunt against him.
It was previously reported that police suspect that Sara Netanyahu pressured Iris Elovitch to receive favorable coverage on Walla.
In 2015, she texted Iris Elovitch regarding an article that was published in Walla, reprimanded her and asked her to change it
, Channel 10 News reported last month.
“You are killing me,” she was quoted as saying. “You are slaughtering us. You are ruining the country.”
“What kind of a website is this?” she asked. “What’s going on here? Change it. Do something about it. You are the owners of the website. Do it quick.”
Channel 10 News reported that Sara and Yair Netanyahu are also suspected of obstructing the investigation. In December 2016, the two were said to understand that an investigation was launched into the relations of Prime Minister Netanyahu and a senior media figure, who was later named as Arnon “Noni” Mozes, in Case 2000, which is also known as the “Yediot Aharonot affair.” But the two allegedly thought the individual was Shaul Elovitch and deleted text messages related to him.
The report quoted Sara and Yair Netanyahu as telling their interrogators they did not delete anything intentionally, and if they did, it was to clear memory space on their cellphones.
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