Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was questioned on Tuesday over his alleged deals with the country’s largest telecommunications company Bezeq Group, reported Reuters.
The probe, known as Case 4000, involves suspicions that Netanyahu during his term as the communications minister from 2014 to 2017 intervened with regulators to help Bezeq Group that is controlled by businessman Shaul Elovitch, reported Haaretz. Elovitch, in return, ordered Bezeq Group’s Walla news to provide favourable coverage for Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu.
Investigators are expected to question Netanyahu over the testimony of Nir Hefetz, a former adviser to the prime minister turned witness. Hefetz has reportedly given the police text messages and incriminating recordings allegedly indicating a quid pro quo relationship between Netanyahu and Bezeq Group, according to Haaretz.
Hefetz reportedly told the police he would at times speak with Elovitch up to seven times a day in his capacity as Netanyahu’s adviser, reported The Times of Israel. Hefetz is the third confidant of the prime minister to become a witness in various cases, joining former communications ministry director general Shlomo Filber and former chief of staff Ari Harow.
The police are also likely to ask Netanyahu about text messages sent by his wife Sara Netanyahu to Iris Elovitch, wife of Shaul Elovitch, in which she asked for news coverage to be altered, reported Haaretz.
Meanwhile, around 20 protestors gathered outside Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem on Tuesday, demanding his resignation, reported The Times of Israel.
This is the third time Netanyahu is being questioned by the police in connection with the case. He has previously been questioned in two other corruption cases, according to The Times of Israel. In Case 1000, Netanyahu and Sara are suspected of receiving illicit gifts from billionaire benefactors while in Case 2000 involves an alleged quid pro quo deal between Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper publisher Arnon Mozes.