Netanyahu walking with the mayor of a settlement

Israeli police list PM Benjamin Netanyahu as bribery suspect

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suspected of crimes involving fraud, breach of trust and bribes in two corruption cases, Israeli police revealed yesterday.

Police have been questioning Mr Netanyahu for months over the cases but have released few details. They released a gag order yesterday on reporting the ­details of talks that are under way to enlist a state witness.

On Thursday justice officials were nearing a deal with Mr Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, Ari Harrow, in which he would give evidence against his former boss in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

The gag order says the cases involving Mr Netanyahu deal with “a suspicion of committing crimes of bribery, fraud and breach of trust”.

Mr Netanyahu’s office has repeatedly denied wrongdoing over the investigations, portraying the accusations as a witch hunt against him and his family by a hostile media opposed to his hardline political views.

“We completely reject the unfounded claims against the Prime Minister,” his office said yesterday. It said the allegations were part of a campaign to ­“replace the government” and “there will be nothing, because there was nothing”.

One investigation, dubbed File 1000, concerns claims Mr Netanyahu improperly accepted lavish gifts from wealthy supporters, including Australian billionaire James Packer and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan. The second investigation, File 2000, concerns Mr Netanyahu’s alleged attempts to strike a deal with publisher Arnon Mozes of the Yediot Ahronot newspaper group to promote legislation to weaken Yediot’s main competitor in exchange for more favourable coverage.


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