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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

New questions for Netanyahu over corruption claims

The Israeli prime minister is suspected of having received gifts from wealthy supporters

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suspected of having received luxury gifts from wealthy supporters.
Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suspected of having received luxury gifts from wealthy supporters.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was set to be questioned by police for the second time this month over two alleged cases of corruption, media reports said.

Mr Netanyahu is suspected of having received luxury gifts from wealthy supporters, including Israeli businessman and Hollywood producer ­Arnon Milchan.

Mr Milchan, a longtime friend of Mr Netanyahu who ­reportedly sent him boxes of expensive cigars and other items worth tens of thousands of dollars, was himself questioned in ­September.

Sunday’s questioning would be the sixth time Mr ­Netanyahu has faced police investigators in recent months.

Investigators have also questioned the premier on suspicions he sought a secret deal for favourable coverage with the publisher of the top-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper.

Under the alleged deal, not believed to have been finalised, Mr Netanyahu would receive positive coverage in return for helping to curb Yediot’s competitor, the pro-Netanyahu and widely circulated freesheet ­Israel Hayom.

Mr Netanyahu has consistently denied any wrongdoing and says he has been the target of a campaign by political opponents.

Police would not confirm the reports of the latest questioning, which was widely reported in the Israeli media yesterday.

This month, Mr Netanyahu confidants Yitzhak Molcho and David Shimron, partners in a law firm and both relatives of the premier, were questioned by police as part of an investigation into suspected corruption involving the purchase of German submarines.

Mr Netanyahu himself has not been named as a suspect in the submarine case, but reports said he might give testimony into the affair.

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