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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 October 2018

Israeli police again question Netanyahu over alleged corruption

Political pressure could mount on Israeli prime minister to step down

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem. Pool via Reuters
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem. Pool via Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces three investigations over alleged corruption, was questioned again by police over a case involving Israel's largest telecoms firm on Tuesday, Army Radio said.

The authorities allege Mr Netanyahu awarded regulatory favours to Bezeq Telecom Israel in return for favourable coverage of him and his wife on a news site owned by the company. Mr Netanyahu, Bezeq and its owner have all denied wrongdoing.

A Reuters cameraman saw a police car pulling into the driveway of the prime minister's official residence in Jerusalem. Mr Netanyahu has been questioned over the case before and police have yet to make a recommendation about charges.

A police spokesman declined to comment, and a spokesman for the Israeli prime minister had no immediate comment.

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 could be months away.

So far, partners in Mr Netanyahu’s governing coalition have stood by him, saying they are awaiting the attorney general’s next moves. However, political pressure could mount on Mr Netanyahu to step down if he is charged.

He could also call a snap election to try to stall legal proceedings during the campaign and rally his right-wing power base behind him. Polls show Netanyahu’s Likud party gaining seats and positioned far ahead of all other factions.

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Read more:

Benjamin Netanyahu's wife, Sara, charged with fraud

Netanyahu ex-aide 'signs state witness deal' in corruption probe

Prime Minister Netanyahu and his long list of scandals

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