Netanyahu aides held in new corruption inquiry

Shlomo Filber sits at the Magistrate Court during his remand in Tel Aviv Israel

Netanyahu's Associates Named In Telecom Corruption Probe

Hefetz and Communications Ministry director Shlomo Filber have been in custody since Sunday in connection with the so-called Case 4000 of suspected corruption involving the Bezeq telecommunications company and possibly Netanyahu himself. Another statement went on to call Caspit's report slanderous and said the journalist, who recently published a book on Benjamin Netanyahu, had an "absurd obsession with the prime minister's wife". A lawyer for Handler said she is cooperating fully with the investigation and denies the allegations.

Israeli media reports said Netanyahu is likely to face questioning in the police Bezeq probe. Avichai Mandelblit, who did get the job, announced in September that he meant to indict Sara Netanyahu on fraud charges, accusing her of misusing some $100,000 through her management of the prime minister's official residence in Jerusalem. Caspit reported Hefetz as saying to Kamir.

Police have already concluded investigations into two separate cases involving the prime minister and their recommendation that charges be pressed is now in the hands of the attorney general.

"Nir Hefetz never proposed this hallucinatory offer to the prime minister and his wife".

Additionally, the police have arrested Elovitch's wife, Iris, and his son, Or, and the CEO of Bezeq, Stella Handler.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he speaks during an inauguration ceremony for a fortified emergency room at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon southern Israel

Their alleged offer was to Hila Gerstel, a judge involved in a graft probe into Sara Netanyahu over alleged misuse of public funds. A judge ruled that they could be held until Thursday.

Police alleged that Netanyahu worked with Arnon Milchan, a well-known Israeli-born Hollywood producer to arrange a US visa, lessen the billionaire's tax burden, assist with business ventures, and intervene in the media market on Milchan's behalf.

The prime minister has vehemently denied all the charges and deemed the cases politically motivated, accusing his rivals of attempting to mount a coup. According to Channel 2 TV, Netanyahu allegedly received favorable coverage from the Walla news site, a Bezeq subsidiary, in exchange for regulation that earned Elovitch hundreds of millions of shekels. While Netanyahu has not been named as a suspect, close associates of his, including two personal aides, have been arrested or questioned.

Case 1000, the first of the two cases, centers on allegations that the prime minister received gifts worth $280,000 from billionaires in exchange for political favors, and Case 2000 involves claims that he tried to cut a deal with a newspaper publisher in return for favorable coverage.

"As part of the investigation, suspicions accumulated of felonies concerning ethics, fraud, money-laundering and securities violations, conducted over extended periods of time, frequently and systematically as part of relationships between Bezeq executives and public servants and their associates", Tuesday's police statement said.

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