Netanyahu interrogated for over 4 hours in graft probes

Netanyahu interrogated for over 4 hours in graft probes

Netanyahu interrogated for over 4 hours in graft probes

Israeli police have questioned Benjamin Netanyahu for a fifth time in relation to a series of sprawling corruption investigations, The Guardian writes.

It gave no further details.

The interrogation was the fifth round of questioning in several ongoing probes against the premier, dubbed Case 1000 and Case 2000.

Channel 10 reported Thursday evening that Netanyahu is likely to be questioned at least three more times following the latest interrogation. It is alleged that Netanyahu tried to negotiate a deal with Mozes, offering legislation that would impede the activities of Mozes' rival paper, Israel Hayom, in return for more favourable media coverage of the prime minister and his policies.

Netanyahu has not denied accepting gifts from Milchan but maintained the gifts were presents exchanged between friends and do not constitute bribery or a breach of trust.

The recent questioning comes about a month after Netanyahu's former aide Ari Harow had signed an agreement to become a state witness.

The television station also reported that the US State Department is preventing Israeli investigators from gathering testimony from former US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro over the visa request.

The investigations have stirred Israeli politics and led to speculation over whether Netanyahu will eventually be forced to step down.

Earlier this week, two of Netanyahu's closest associates - his personal lawyer David Shimron and Isaac Molcho, who has acted as a foreign envoy - were questioned over a third investigation, case 3,000, involving a?2bn (£1.8bn) deal for Israel to purchase German submarines and patrol boats.

In an apparent attempt to block police from making Netanyahu a suspect in Case 3000, and potentially also put an end to Cases 1000 and 2000, Amsalem had initially proposed a bill that would grant serving prime ministers immunity from corruption investigations.

In April, Israeli police appeared ready to recommend Netanyahu's indictment in the case, though no official charges have been filed against the prime minister.

It was not immediately clear whether Thursday's questioning of Netanyahu would also include the submarine affair.

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