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Israeli Police Question Netanyahu for 6th Time

Israeli Police Question Netanyahu for 6th Time

Monday, 20 November, 2017 - 06:30
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Gali Tibbon/AFP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was questioned for a sixth time on Sunday over two suspected cases of corruption, police said.

Channel Two television said that detectives arrived at the premier's official Jerusalem residence shortly after 4:00 pm Sunday.

At 9:00 pm a police statement confirmed that he had been questioned "for a number of hours" by officers of the national fraud and serious crimes squad.

It was their second visit in 10 days, after Netanyahu was questioned for about four hours on November 9. He was first quizzed on January 2.

Netanyahu is suspected of having received luxury gifts from wealthy supporters, including Israeli businessman and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.

Milchan, a long-time friend of Netanyahu, reportedly sent him boxes of expensive cigars and other items worth tens of thousands of dollars. The producer was himself questioned in September.

In addition to suspicions that the gifts constituted bribery, the police also suspect that he sought a secret pact for favorable coverage with the publisher of the top-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper.

The alleged deal, not believed to have been finalized, would have seen Netanyahu receive favorable coverage in return for helping curb Yediot's competitor, the pro-Netanyahu freesheet Israel Hayom.

Netanyahu, who has been in power since 2009, has consistently denied any wrongdoing, and says he has been the target of a campaign by political opponents.

Earlier this month, Netanyahu confidants Yitzhak Molcho and David Shimron, partners in a law firm and both relatives of the premier, were questioned by police as part of a probe into suspected corruption around the $2 billion purchase of German submarines.

Netanyahu himself has not been named as a suspect in the submarine case.

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