Israeli police question PM Netanyahu in corruption probe
published on The BBC, on January 2, 2017
Israeli police have questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as part of an inquiry into corruption allegations.
He was asked about “receiving benefits from business people”, justice ministry officials said without giving details.
Ahead of the investigators’ arrival at his residence on Monday, Mr Netanyahu restated that he was innocent.
He warned the media and political rivals that they should “hold off partying”, adding: “Nothing will happen, because there is nothing.”
Mr Netanyahu was questioned at his Jerusalem residence for about three hours, the Jerusalem Post newspaper says.
The prime minister is accused of accepting “improper gifts” worth thousands of dollars from domestic and international businessman, the newspaper reported.
Mr Netanyahu told his Likud party legislators earlier on Monday: “We hear all the media reports. We see and hear the festive spirit and atmosphere in television studios and in the corridors of the opposition.
“I want to tell them to wait for the celebrations. Do not rush… You will continue to inflate hot air balloons and we will continue to lead the state of Israel.”
Opponents of Mr Netanyahu have called for an investigation into his affairs following a series of scandals in recent months – none of which has resulted in charges.
Allegations against Benjamin Netanyahu
- Last month, an investigation was opened into the purchase of new submarines from Germany, after it was claimed that Mr Netanyahu’s lawyer represented the company during negotiations
- Earlier this year, convicted French fraudster Arnaud Mimran claimed he had donated hundreds of thousands of euros to Mr Netanyahu’s 2009 campaign – something the prime minister denies
- Mr Netanyahu has been accused of wasting public money, including $127,000 (£102,000) on a customised private bedroom on a single flight to the UK
- After Mr Netanyahu’s first term as prime minister two decades ago, police recommended that he and his wife Sara face criminal charges for keeping official gifts that should have been handed over to the state; the charges were later dropped;
- The couple were also accused of charging the government for the services of a contractor who did private work for them; those charges were also dropped.