(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be questioned by the Lahav 433 National Crime Unit for the sixth time next Sunday, according to media reports on Tuesday.
Netanyahu is being questioned in two corruption cases – File 1000, dubbed the “Gifts Affair,” and 2000, being called the “Yediot Aharonot Affair.”
According to Channel 2 News, a senior law enforcement official said questioning Netanyahu only 10 days after the prior interrogation was part of the effort to “speed up the pace” of the investigation. In comparison, it was eight months between Netanyahu’s third and fourth interrogations.
The official also said Netanyahu’s investigations were at their ending phases and that at this point the interrogators were planning to confront him with testimony and evidence collected in recent months.
Police refused to confirm the Channel 2 News report to The Jerusalem Post
Last Thursday, investigators questioned Netanyahu over the Gifts Affair for more than four hours at his official residence in Jerusalem.
During the questioning, Lahav 433 members confronted him with the testimony of Hollywood movie mogul Arnon Milchan.
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In August, it was revealed that Netanyahu was suspected of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in that case for the alleged improper receipt of gifts from different businessmen.
Milchan has confirmed that he regularly sent cigars and other gifts to the prime minister and his wife, Sara.
It was reported on Monday that Hadas Klein, Milchan’s personal assistant, also testified in Case 1000. Klein is considered a key witness in this investigation.
In her testimony, she talked about massive supplies of Champagne and cigars. However, she stated that she didn’t know what Milchan got in return, according to the report. Police are investigating several situations in which Netanyahu may allegedly have used his power for the benefit of the producer.
The prime minister has acknowledged accepting gifts from Milchan, but maintains they were exchanged between friends and did not constitute bribery or breach of trust. He has denied any wrongdoing.
“It is allowed – according to the law – to receive gifts from friends,” he said at the Knesset in January.
“Arnon Milchan and I have been friends for over 20 years.
We are good friends, our wives are good friends,” he said.
In Case 2000, Netanyahu allegedly negotiated with publisher Arnon “Noni” Mozes for favorable coverage of himself in Yediot Aharonot
in exchange for Mozes’s support of a bill to weaken Israel Hayom
, the largest circulation Hebrew-language paper and Yediot
’s biggest competitor.
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