(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
MK Eitan Cabel (Labor) was questioned under caution on Thursday over his involvement in Case 2000, the “Yediot Aharonot affair.” Cabel was the initiator of the “Israel Hayom bill” that would have banned the free distribution of the daily paper.
Police suspect that Cabel worked with Yediot Aharonot publisher Arnon Mozes to create legislation that would weaken the paper’s biggest competition, Israel Hayom, in return for favorable coverage in Yediot. Channel 2 reported Thursday that police interrogators had received information that Cabel had exchanged more than 60 text messages and phone calls with Mozes in the year prior to the bill, and more than 50 with the paper’s editor-in-chief, Ron Yaron.
Cabel denied any wrongdoing and rejected the police’s claims.
He wrote on his Twitter account: “I was shortly questioned today in the ‘Bibi-Mozes’ affair, which is also known as Case 2000. I answered every question I was asked, and I trust the law enforcement authorities. As always, I acted according to the law and I recommend [everyone] to be patient until the investigation is completed.”
Cabel had testified to police in the case last January, however, this time he was questioned as a suspect.
Mozes was also questioned on Thursday.
In Case 2000, police are looking into conversations that were held between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mozes, in which the two may have conspired to weaken Israel Hayom
in return for favorable coverage of the prime minister in Mozes’s paper.
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A court document revealed in August that the prime minister is suspected of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in both Case 1000, known as the “expensive gifts affair,” and Case 2000.
The “Israel Hayom
bill” passed a preliminary reading in November 2014, which eventually led to the dissolution of the government. In January 2017, the prime minister wrote on his Facebook page: “It is known that after the bill passed with a large majority, I dismantled the government and went to general elections because of the efforts within the government to undermine [me, and the attempt] to pass the bill.”
Netanyahu is expected to be questioned one more time before the police conclude its investigation and submit its recommendation of whether to indict him or not.
Meanwhile, it was reported that the Israel Police is expected to recommend to the State Attorney’s Office to indict two of prime minister’s confidants – David Shimron and Yitzhak Molcho – in Case 3000, dubbed the “submarines affair.”
Shimron is Netanyahu’s personal attorney and also his cousin. Molcho was Netanyahu’s special envoy and close adviser.
The premier, however, is not a suspect in Case 3000, the investigation into possible corruption in Israel’s purchase of German-made naval vessels.
Channel 2 News reported on Wednesday that police have gathered enough evidence in the case to indict the two, and three other senior figures: Netanyahu’s former chief of staff David Sharan, former Navy chief Eliezer Marom and former National Security Council deputy head Avriel Bar-Yosef It was reported that most of the findings of the investigation came through the testimony of Miki Ganor, the representative of German ship builder ThyssenKrupp in Israel who became a state’s witness in July.
The police is expected to submit its recommendations in this case within two months, the report said.
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