Netanyahu to Police: Because of Sinus Problems, I Couldn't Have Smoked All Alleged Cigars Gifted by Hollywood Mogul

Under questioning on suspicions of graft, Netanyahu said that due to a medical problem he cannot even put a cigar in his mouth for several months of the year, and therefore their alleged cost has been exaggerated, Channel 10 reports.

Arnon Milchan and Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in 2005.
David Silverman/Getty Images

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said under questioning that he cannot smoke as many cigars as he's accused of because of a sinus problem, Channel 10 reported on Tuesday.

Netanyahu said he cannot even put a cigar in his mouth for a several-month period each year therefore the estimates of how much they cost, in the hundreds of thousands of shekels, sounds exaggerated. The report also said that Netanyahu said he himself had purchased the cigars that he smoked.

Netanyahu was questioned for a fourth time on Monday at his official residence in Jerusalem, a session that lasted for five hours. The investigation dealt with two affairs in which he's suspected – graft and his contacts with Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Noni Mozes.

The investigation was interrupted for about a half hour when U.S. President Donald Trump telephoned Netanyahu.

In recent weeks the police have had trouble setting a time to question Netanyahu due to his trips to the United States, Singapore and Australia. In anticipation of similar problems in the future, the police are seeing to question him on both issues as soon as possible, but the prime minister may be questioned at least another time, as well.

At the center of the graft case, known as Case 1000, lies the suspicion that tycoons including Arnon Milchan, who has testified along with some of his confidants, purchases cigars, alcoholic beverages and jewelry for Netanyahu and his wife, valued at hundreds of thousands of shekels. Netanyahu said the gifts were from close friends, hence there is nothing illegal about them.