(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s lawyer, David Shimron, was questioned by police investigators on Monday regarding the two ongoing criminal investigations of the premier.
Police said Shimron was not questioned under caution and gave testimony only regarding Case 1000, which involves gifts the prime minister and his family received from billionaires, and Case 2000, regarding conversations Netanyahu allegedly had with Yediot Aharonot publisher Arnon Mozes about weakening the Israel Hayom newspaper.
Shimron is also involved in a criminal investigation of the so-called Submarine Affair, concerning allegations that he lobbied Israeli defense officials on behalf of German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp for a multi-billion shekel submarine sale. A spokesman for the police Intelligence and Investigations Division declined to discuss any details of Shimron’s testimony, but said he did not give testimony on the Submarine Affair.
Netanyahu was questioned for a fourth time earlier this month as the police investigation is said to be entering its final stages. Israel Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Roni Alsheich said earlier this month that police investigators would finish “within a number of weeks.”
In early March, investigators from the Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit obtained testimony from Israeli billionaire Arnon Milchan, who allegedly gave Netanyahu tens of thousands of shekels worth of cigars, champagne, and jewelry to Sara Netanyahu. Police are still seeking to question Australian billionaire James Packer, who allegedly gave Netanyahu’s son, Yair, lavish gifts in order to influence the prime minister.
The police are likely to recommend indicting the prime minister in Case 1000, Israeli media have reported.
Throughout the investigation, Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing, repeating his mantra: “There will be nothing, because there is nothing.”