Netanyahu questioned by police over alleged corruption

Netanyahu was questioned by police over suspicions that he received illegal gifts.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was questioned under caution by police on Monday evening at his official residence in Jerusalem over suspicions that he received illegal gifts.

After the three-hour session, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit issued an official statement, saying Netanyahu was questioned “on suspicion of receiving benefits from business people,” but he provided no further details.

Mandelblit authorized the investigation after a preliminary probe showed there was sufficient evidence for a criminal investigation.

The attorney general stated that at this stage of the investigation, “we can’t discuss the issues. Releasing further information will be considered from time to time, depending on developments and as long as it does not jeopardize police procedures.”

The main allegations are breach of trust and the accepting of illegal gifts. There are no known suspicions of bribery.

The exact extent and scope of the allegations are unclear.

According to reports by Israeli media, Netanyahu is suspected of receiving benefits in large sums from two businessmen.

Mandelblit detailed four other cases of suspected wrongdoing involving Netanyahu that are not being pursued in the current investigation due to lack of evidence. They include allegations of illicit campaign financing during the 2009 national election, forging results of the Likud primaries that year, and receiving double reimbursements for flights to speaking engagements abroad.

These probes will be terminated.

Ahead of questioning, Netanyahu told the weekly Likud meeting that the allegations were baseless. He denied any wrongdoing, repeating his previous statement that “there won’t be anything, because there isn’t anything.”

“We’re hearing the festive mood in television studios and opposition corridors, but I’d like to say: Hold off the celebrations, don’t rush. There will be nothing because there is nothing. You’ll continue blowing up hot air balloons, and we’ll continue leading the country,” the prime minister said, to the applause of his party members.

Netanyahu is likely to be questioned again in the coming days.

By: World Israel News Staff