Israeli police question Netanyahu again over graft suspicion

2017-01-06 20:03
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. (Amir Cohen, AP, file)

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. (Amir Cohen, AP, file)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Jerusalem - Police questioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday for the second time over allegations that he improperly accepted gifts from wealthy supporters, pressing ahead with a probe that has threatened to challenge his long leadership of Israel's government. Netanyahu has adamantly denied wrongdoing.

Police said investigators went to Netanyahu's official residence in Jerusalem in a case that local media say arose from allegations involving high-profile figures in international business and Hollywood.

Police said investigators questioned Netanyahu for five hours about suspicions that he "allegedly received benefits" as well as about another undisclosed affair. His questioning on Monday lasted more than three hours.

Few details of the allegations against Netanyahu have been officially released, with Israel's Justice Ministry revealing only that the prime minister was being questioned "on suspicion of receiving benefits from business people".

Suspicions

But Israeli media have reported that Netanyahu accepted "favours" from businessmen in Israel and abroad, allegedly including billionaire Ronald Lauder and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.

Israeli Channel 2 TV has said Netanyahu is the central suspect in a second investigation that also involves family members.

Netanyahu has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, portraying the accusations as a witch hunt against him and his family by a hostile media opposed to his hard-line political views.

He has pointed to previous suspicions raised against him, none of which resulted in any criminal proceedings, as a sign that he has done nothing wrong in this most recent allegation as well. "There won't be anything because there is nothing," Netanyahu has said frequently.

Serving his third consecutive term with a stable coalition government, Netanyahu is on track to become Israel's longest-serving leader, should he complete his full term in office in 2019. He does not appear to have any serious foreseeable challenger to his rule.

While the probe is still in its infancy, a mounting investigation could put pressure on Netanyahu to step down.

His predecessor, Ehud Olmert, did so in 2008 just months before he was formally indicted on corruption-related charges. Olmert is now serving a prison sentence after being convicted of accepting bribes.

After eight years in office, in addition to an earlier term in the 1990s, Netanyahu has garnered a reputation as a cognac-swilling, cigar-puffing socialite who is as comfortable rubbing shoulders with international celebrities as he is making deals in parliament.

Scandals have dogged him and his wife, Sara, over their lavish tastes.

They have been chided for excessive spending on anything from pistachio ice cream to scented candles to ringing up $127 000 in public funds for a special sleeping cabin for a five-hour flight to London.

Read more on:    benjamin netanyahu  |  israel

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/World
 

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:

 
 

You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.