Police question 'Yediot' publisher for third time in Netanyahu graft case

The premier lamented the fact that because the investigation was ongoing he was not allowed to share his version of events with the public.

January 16, 2017 11:23
2 minute read.
Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Yediot Aharonot publisher Arnon “Noni” Mozes arrived Monday morning at police headquarters for a third day of questioning under caution.

Mozes is being investigated as part of an ongoing probe into allegations that he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to conspire to weaken Israel HaYom, which is owned by the premier’s confidant, US casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.

Mozes had been questioned the previous day for over eight hours at Lahav 433, the police's anti-corruption unit headquarters.

In light of the recent media leaks regarding the case, Netanyahu took to Facebook on Sunday night and wrote that "during the last few days an orchestrated media attack has been unleashed in order to take down the Likud government under my lead."

"Their method is simple," Netanyahu wrote. "Day in and day out they publish selectively edited versions of the tapes, which are chosen for a reason."

The premier lamented the fact that because the investigation was ongoing he was not allowed to share his version of events with the public.

"I do not have the opportunity to protect myself as long as the investigation is still open, I can't tell the public the real story, which will show that no wrongdoing was done," he added.

He went on to say that he and his Likud party were against the Israel HaYom law and that he did everything in his power to defeat the law, including dissolving the government and calling for new elections.

According to transcripts released by Channel 2 on Saturday night, Netanyahu sought journalists who would cover him in a good light in exchange for pushing a 2014 bill that would end the free distribution of Israel HaYom. In 2014, Netanyahu told the media mogul to “lower the level of hostility toward him from 9.5 to 7.5,” to which Mozes responded, “I get it. Don’t worry about it – we need to ensure that you will be prime minister.”

Meanwhile, Netanyahu's wife Sara, who was questioned by police on Wednesday regarding the receipt of allegedly illegal gifts, filed a complaint with Attorney- General Avichai Mandelblit on Sunday accusing the police of mistreatment and false leaks.

Netanyahu was questioned under caution for a total of eight hours in two sessions on January 2 and 5 regarding the Mozes- Netanyahu conversation, termed Case 2000, and in Case 1000, which deals with him allegedly receiving illegal gifts from Israeli billionaire Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer.

Eliyahu Kamisher contributed to this report.

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