Netanyahu Ally To Implicate Him In New Corruption Case

Netanyahu Ally To Implicate Him In New Corruption Case

After recommending indictments in files 1,000 and 2,000, Israel Police on Sunday night moved aggressively on file 4,000, a.k.a. the Bezeq affair, arresting key players in Israel's communications industry, whose names were released Monday night: Bezeq's controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's media advisor Nir Hefetz; Communications Ministry Director-General Shlomo Filber; Elovitch's wife and son Iris and Or; and Bezeq CEO Stella Handler.

Netanyahu, who was the Communications Minister until 2017, is now not a suspect in this affair, according to the police, but local media widely reported that he is expected to be questioned in the recent days.

Mr Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing and said the latest charges against him were merely a continuation of a wider media-orchestrated witch hunt against him and his family.

Netanyahu's associates urged a friend of retired district court judge Hila Gerstel to meet with her and offer her the position of attorney general, which she ultimately didn't receive, police said.

Gerstel did not report the alleged bribe attempt to the police but she shared it with a colleague Esther Hayut, who was then a justice on the Supreme Court and now is the President of the Supreme Court.

Police didn't offer the identities of either suspect, but Netanyahu revealed one to be his former family spokesperson, Nir Hefetz, while denying the allegations. "He was never asked to make such an offer, and we can not believe Hefetz even considered such a thing", the statement read.

The prime minister has also been linked indirectly to Case 3000, a large investigation into suspected corruption surrounding a multi-billion-shekel purchase of naval vessels and submarines from a German shipbuilder.

"I never consulted Nir Hefetz on this matter, he never proposed anything to me on this issue, and you know what?" Trump, said a White House official, "has a tremendous relationship" with Netanyahu and is looking forward to meeting with him.

Saudi- Ethiopia Declares State of Emergency
Thousands of prisoners were since pardoned or released from custody, including some of the country's most prominent dissidents. While the government considers who will take his place, it has imposed a state of emergency for the next six months.

Filber was appointed by Netanyahu in 2015, after the prime minister installed himself as communications minister.

The new probe comes days after police announced there was sufficient evidence to indict Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two separate cases.

Netanyahu has not been named as a suspect in the Bezeq affair, but a spokesman for his family had responded to media reports on the investigation, calling them "yet another empty probe" that would yield nothing.

"He will try to emphasize to the Israeli public his value as someone who they have to thank for the strong economy and for Israel's standing in the world", said David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit, a Netanyahu appointee, will make the final decision on whether to file charges - a process that is expected to take several months. In return, police say Netanyahu operated on Milchan's behalf on USA visa matters, legislated a tax break and connected him with an Indian businessman.

In the second case, Mr Netanyahu is accused of offering a newspaper publisher legislation that would weaken his paper's main rival in return for more favourable coverage.

Israel's police chief, Roni Alsheikh, said Tuesday that the police recommendations were coordinated with the attorney general and were handled in a professional manner.

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