Police Grill Netanyahu for Five Hours on Two Different Cases

In addition to suspicions that Netanyahu and family received gifts worth hundreds of thousands, additional undisclosed affair also being probed ■ Police: Investigation could be obstructed.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Likud party meeting at the Knesset. January 2016.
Like Richard Nixon, Netanyahu recorded his conversations to protect himself, thus digging himself a hole and providing evidence for his investigators. Emil Salman

Police investigators questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday for five hours about two different cases, at least one of which involves suspicions of graft.

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The interrogation, which took place at the official Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, was thought to have focused on the minor of two cases involving Netanyahu that police are looking into – suspicions that he and his family received gifts and other benefits worth hundreds of thousands of shekels from businesspeople.

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However, a police statement from the evening said the interrogation focused on a second undisclosed case as well. Police also said they had questioned an additional suspect in the investigation, but said no further details could be given due to fears the investigation would be obstructed.

Earlier today, Haaretz revealed that Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan is allegedly one of the main figures involved in the case.

As Haaretz previously reported, police have deposed witnesses abroad as well as in Israel about the case. One significant witness was Jewish American businessman Ron Lauder, a longtime friend of Netanyahu’s. Lauder's associates denied reports that he told the police that he has given gifts to Netanyahu or his family.

Police are hoping their interrogation of Netanyahu will also shed additional light on a second more serious case whose full details have not yet been made public, sources privy to the investigation say. Details of this case were presented to Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit a few months ago.

On Monday, Netanyahu was questioned for the first time over the allegations. Hours before the questioning, he denied the allegations, cautioning critics: "don't celebrate yet."