Police delay recommendation to indict Netanyahu in gifts probe

The prime minister may be summoned for another round of questioning.

December 29, 2017 07:27
2 minute read.
Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu

Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu. (photo credit: NIR ELIAS / REUTERS)


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The police will delay their recommendations to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Case 1000, which was said to be announced in the coming weeks.

Senior officials, according to a Channel 2 News report, said the recommendations will only be announced in a month to a month and a half. They explained that it is because the police did not complete their investigations yet and that Netanyahu might be summoned for another round of questioning.

The prime minister is suspected of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in two cases – 1000, the “Gifts Affair,” and 2000, the “Yediot Aharonot Affair.”

In Case 1000, which is considered to be a stronger case against the prime minister, police are investigating whether Netanyahu returned favors to various businessmen who gave him expensive gifts.

One of these businessmen is international movie mogul Arnon Milchan, who delivered large quantities of cigars and champagnes as well as expensive jewelry to Netanyahu and his wife, Sara.

Recently, the testimony of Hadas Klein, who worked as a personal assistant to both Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer, was made public.

Klein is a key witness in the investigation. She spoke about a substantial supply of champagne and cigars – but didn’t know whether Milchan received anything in return.

Channel 2 News reported on Wednesday that Milchan said in his police questioning about the case that in one incident, Klein told him that Sara Netanyahu demanded an expensive jewel for her birthday.

According to the same report, Milchan also said that he “gave Sara beverages [champagne] to calm her down,” and “to give her husband some peace from her.”

The report added that Milchan had said it is important for him to stay close to the prime minister, “because he wants to be able to influence the state’s affairs.”

In Case 2000, Netanyahu is accused of negotiating with Yediot Aharonot publisher Arnon “Noni” Mozes for favorable coverage in exchange for his support to weaken Israel Hayom, the most widely circulated Hebrew-language paper and Yediot Aharonot’s biggest competitor.

Two weeks ago, the prime minister was questioned for the seventh time in these probes.

After the questioning, Netanyahu posted on Facebook: “There’s nothing new under the sun. I answered all of the questions I was asked, and this time I say with full confidence: There will be nothing, because there is nothing.”

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