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Israel’s Netanyahu May Be Probed by Police over Fraud Allegations

Israel’s Netanyahu May Be Probed by Police over Fraud Allegations

Sunday, 19 November, 2017 - 11:15
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayhu. (AFP)

Israeli police may interrogate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayhu for the first time as part of two corruption probes, local media reported on Sunday.

In one of the cases, the PM is suspected of having illegally received hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gifts from wealthy figures, including Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.

A long-time friend of Netanyahu, Milchan was questioned in September.

The second corruption is examining whether Netanyahu had struck a secret deal with the owner of the Yedioth Ahronoth daily in order to receive favorable media coverage.

Netanyahu has slammed all the allegations against him, saying they are aimed at ousting him from power.

If charged, he would come under heavy pressure to resign or could call an election to test whether he still had a mandate.

On Friday, two of the PM’s closest allies initiated legislation in what opponents say is a rearguard action to try to shield him from the corruption investigation.

One of the draft-laws would bar police from providing prosecutors with the investigators’ conclusions on whether charges should be brought against suspects. The second, known as the “French Law” because of similarities with legislation in France, would delay any investigation of a prime minister until he or she leaves office.

Netanyahu, a right-wing leader now in his fourth term, has said he has no interest in promoting personal legislation, but he has not ordered his coalition head, David Bitan and his co-sponsor of the bills, David Amsalem, to withdraw the bills.

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