Sheldon Adelson, Wife to Testify During Upcoming Israel Visit in Case Against Netanyahu

Police to ask the casino magnate about the degree of the prime minister's involvement with the heavily supportive Israel Hayom newspaper

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp., front, arrives for a keynote presentation session at the 14th CLSA Japan Forum in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Japan is the "ultimate business opportunity" for integrated casino resorts, Adelson said. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg
Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

American Jewish billionaire and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam are expected to testify next week against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a case in which Netanyahu is suspected of trying to negotate favorable coverage with an arch-foe, the owner of one of Israel's largest-selling newspapers.

>> Get all updates on Netanyahu's investigationDownload our App, sign up to Breaking News Alerts, and Subscribe >>

The so-called "Case 2000" involves suspicions that Netanyahu promised Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes to rein in rival paper Israel Hayom, which is owned by Adelson and is heavily pro-Netanyahu, in exchange for getting more favorable coverage in Yedioth.

Adelson is expected to be asked by police if he had authorized Netanyahu to conduct any kind of negotiations with Mozes, and whether he knew about their conversations, transcripts of which were published in January.

>> Netanyahu's tape scandal explained: Will secret negotiations with Adelson’s media rival force him to resign? <<

Adelson will also be asked about the degree of Netanyahu’s involvement with the workings of the newspaper, and whether the premier had ever been authorized to negotiate advertising rates. Police believe Miriam Adelson’s testimony will be particularly significant because she was more involved with the newspaper.

In January, Justice Ministry officials said Case 2000 would take time since it required taking testimony from witnesses abroad as well as in Israel.