Report: Police to Only Conclude Netanyahu Corruption Investigations in April

Recommendations whether to charge the prime minister will be reportedly delayed, as another questioning session of Netanyahu is necessary

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on January 4, 2018
Amos Ben Gershom

The conclusion of police investigations in two cases against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be delayed until April, a TV report said Friday.

According to the report by Israel Television News Company, additional investigations regarding Netanyahu are necessary both in Israel and abroad, and have thus caused the delay.

Last week, a report saidthat the police would delay publishing recommendations regarding Case 1000 and Case 2000, in which both Netanyahu is a suspect, by a month and a half in order to complete investigations. After the most recent questioning of Netanyahu three weeks ago, estimates emerged that the investigation had come to a close and the police would make their recommendations public by mid-January.

Case 100 involves allegations that he received lavish gifts from wealthy businessmen Arnon Milchan and James Packer. Netanyahu and his wife Sara allegedly received regular shipments of expensive cigars and champagne, worth hundreds of thousands of shekels, from Milchan. It has also been reported that Milchan bought Netanyahus wife an expensive piece of jewelry. Testimony recently collected by the police shows that these gifts arrived systematically and delivered, with code names, per the request of the Netanyahu family.

Testimony from Milchan's assistant, Hadas Klein, revealed that Sara Netanyahu would ask for bottles of champagne and that her husband, who was aware of her requests, would ask for cigars. According to suspicions, Netanyahu promoted Milchan's business interests including helping him obtain a visa to the United States.

Case 2000 involves recordings of talks between Netanyahu and Arnon Mozes, the publisher of the Yedioth Ahronoth daily tabloid, in which the prime minister seeks to receive more favorable coverage in the newspaper. Suspicions are that in return, Netanyahu tried to help Yedioth Ahronoth regain its position as the largest newspaper in Israel. Yedioth Ahronoth's biggest competitor is Israel Hayom, which is owned by the American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.