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Netanyahu to be questioned on new evidence in re-opened corruption probe: report

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in his office in Jerusalem on April 29, 2018
Sebastian Scheiner (POOL/AFP)
Police had already recommended Netanyahu be indicted in the case for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will reportedly face fresh questioning in a corruption probe involving an alleged quid-pro-quo agreement with one of the country’s leading newspapers after investigators obtained new information and re-opened the investigation.

The probe, dubbed “Case 2,000” to to differentiate it from a slew of other investigations into the affairs of the Prime Minister and his inner circle, centers on an alleged arrangement with Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes to limit circulation of the newspaper's main rival, the Sheldon Adelson-owned Israel Hayom broadsheet, in exchange for more favorable coverage.

Israeli television reports said the re-opening of the case was approved by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit several weeks ago, with Netanyahu, Mozes, and other key witnesses and suspects to give additional testimony after obtaining new evidence, documents, and recordings relating to legislative efforts to curb Israel Hayom’s circulation in 2014.

JACK GUEZ (AFP/File)

The new evidence, which Channel 10 said law enforcement authorities regard as significant, was provided by Nir Hefetz, a former spokesperson for the Netanyahu family who turned state’s witness and testify against the premier in another probe.

In the new materials provided by Hefetz include recordings of the prime minister’s wife Sara and their son Yair, according to public broadcaster Kan.

Police in February recommended that Netanyahu be indicted in the case for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in the case, as well as another (Case 1,000) which centers on suspicions that Netanyahu received lavish gifts from wealthy businessmen in exchange for favorable government treatment.

Netanyahu has vociferously denied any wrongdoing in any of the affairs.

The cases have fueled speculation he could be forced to step down or call an early election but Netanyahu has maintained that he is innocent and has denounced allegations against him as a media and police witch hunt.

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