Israeli police probe into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu corruption allegations widens

Netanyahu is currently being investigated over corruption allegations regarding luxury gifts and his relationship with an Israeli media mogul

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Wednesday 25 January 2017 10:26 GMT
Benjamin Netanyahu was twice interviewed by police last week
Benjamin Netanyahu was twice interviewed by police last week

An Israeli police probe into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu investigating corruption allegations has been widened, according to local media, to include a deal to purchase submarines from Germany.

AFP reports that police are addressing two other matters related to Mr Netanyahu, according to Israel's Channel 10.

One of the issues is understood to relate to a deal for Israel to purchase German submarines, while the other remains unclear. It is also not known whether the police’s interest in these issues are preliminary inquiries or official investigations.

The current corruption investigation is looking into allegations that Mr Netanyahu and his wife allegedly received improper gifts from billionaire Israeli producer Arnon Milchan worth thousands of shekels, and allegations the prime minister negotiated a quid pro-quo deal with one of Israel’s newspaper moguls, Arnon Mozes, to receive favourable coverage.

Mr Netanyahu has denied wrongdoing. Following the leak of hours of tapes being investigated by police, the probe has been widely reported on, which Mr Netanyahu has claimed is part of a plan by the media to see him ousted.

“In the past few days the media has orchestrated a campaign of unprecedented scope to bring down my Likud [ruling party] government,” he said in a statement.

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“This campaign is intended to put pressure on the Attorney General and others in the prosecution so that they will indict me,” he claimed.

Senior police officers involved in the investigations have reportedly been harassed, the Times of Israel reported, while malicious rumours have allegedly been spread about those linked to the probe.

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