Netanyahu questioned anew in telecom corruption case

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. AFP

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli police questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday over his alleged dealings with the country’s largest telecommunication company.

It was the second time the prime minister had been questioned in the investigation. He is suspected of awarding regulatory favours to Bezeq Telecom Israel in return for favourable coverage on a news site the company’s owner controls. Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and says he is the victim of a witch hunt.

Two former Netanyahu confidants – Sholomo Filber and Nir Hefetz – have agreed to turn state’s witness in the case.

In the two other cases in which police have already recommended that Mr Netanyahu be charged with bribery, the final decision about whether to prosecute rests with the Israeli attorney general. That decision could be months away.

In the first investigation, known as Case 1000, he is suspected of bribery over gifts from wealthy businessmen, which police say were worth nearly US$300,000.

The other, Case 2000, involves an alleged plot to win positive coverage in Israel’s biggest newspaper by offering to take measures to curtail the circulation of a rival daily.

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