Netanyahu to be questioned under caution Thursday

  • Netanyahu to be questioned under caution Thursday

Netanyahu to be questioned under caution Thursday

Israeli police questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday for the fifth time over suspicions of corruption, Israeli media reported.

"We confirm that the prime minister was questioned for four hours at his residence in Jerusalem as part of the investigations being carried out by the anti-corruption unit", the police said in a statement.

He is suspected to have received luxury gifts from wealthy supporters, including Israeli businessman and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, a longtime friend who reportedly sent boxes of expensive cigars and other items with a value of tens of thousands of dollars.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri declined to comment, citing a police policy not to divulge information about ongoing questionings.

Since previous year, Netanyahu has been the subject of a criminal investigation in two separate corruption cases.

The current questioning comes about three months after Netanyahu's former aide, Ari Harow, had signed an agreement to become a state witness.

Netanyahu has consistently denied any wrongdoing in relation to these investigations and says he has been the target of a campaign by political opponents.

"Netanyahu is an honest person", Jacob Weinroth, Netanyahu's lawyer, told the Israeli TV station, Channel 2.

Earlier this week, two of Netanyahu's closest associates, special envoy Isaac Molho and his personal attorney and cousin David Shimron, were interrogated in another corruption case - one in which Netanyahu has not been directly implicated.

While Netanyahu has aggressively tried to ride out the damage from the investigations, recent polls have suggested they may be taking a toll, both on his own standing and that of his party.

The second case relates to allegations that Netanyahu struck a deal for more favorable media coverage with Arnon Mozes, publisher of popular Hebrew-language newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.