US billionaire Sheldon Adelson will provide testimony next week in the corruption probe into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Channel 2 reported on Sunday.
The casino magnate and his wife, Miriam, are expected to arrive ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit and stay in Israel a few days after the president leaves, according to the report. Both Adelsons reportedly agreed to give testimony in the investigation dubbed Case 2000.A police spokesman did not respond to a request for comment by press time.Case 2000 revolves around recordings of Netanyahu and Yediot Aharonot publisher Arnon Mozes in which the two men allegedly negotiated an attempt to weaken Yediot competitor Israel Hayom in exchange for favorable coverage of Netanyahu.The prime minister has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying, “There will be nothing, because there is nothing [to the case].”Adelson is a Netanyahu confident and owner of the Israel Hayom newspaper. Police have sought testimony from the billionaire and his wife for months, who only agreed to speak with investigators after receiving assurances that they are not suspected of any offenses, the report said.According to leaks of the conversation reported by Channel 2 in January, Netanyahu allegedly told Mozes he would ask Adelson, whom he referred to as “the gingy,” or redhead, whether a Knesset bill to weaken Israel Hayom would be acceptable to him. The prime minister is also being investigated over suspicions that he accepted illegal gifts from businessmen totaling in the tens of thousands of shekels.Daniel Roth contributed to this report.
As Netanyahu faces police questioning, rivals look "post-Bibi" (credit: REUTERS)