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The Media Line

Netanyahu To Be Questioned By Police Friday In ‘Bezeq Affair’

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will again come under police microscope on Friday when he is expected to be questioned “under caution”—a euphemism meaning he is a suspect—in the so-called “Bezeq Affair,” otherwise known in Israel as Case 4000. In it, the premier is alleged to have orchestrated better coverage of him and his family from the owner of the popular Walla news site in exchange for the Communications Ministry—which he then headed—enacting policies potentially worth hundreds of millions of shekels [Israeli currency] for Shaul Elovitch, Walla’s owner and the controlling shareholder of the Bezeq communications company. In return, Netanyahu purportedly helped Bezeq buy the Israeli satellite cable provider Yes while overriding any anti-trust issues raised by ministry officials. According to reports, Netanyahu will also be asked to testify in Case 3000—an investigation into Israel’s purchase of German-made submarines—although he is currently not a suspect in the case. Netanyahu’s latest legal woes come after police recommended earlier this month that he be indicted on charges of bribery, breach of trust and fraud in two additional cases: one in which he is accused of accepting lavish gifts in return for providing favors to wealthy benefactors (Case 1000); and the other regarding an alleged agreement to trade positive newspaper coverage for favors that benefit Yediot Ahronot owner Arnon Mozes (Case 2000). In this regard, Netanyahu’s fate now rests in the hands of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit who must review the evidence and decide whether to formally prosecute the premier, a process that could take months.

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