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Israeli PM questioned again in telecom corruption case

Israeli PM questioned again in telecom corruption case

Israeli police questioned Benjamin Netanyahu Monday over his alleged dealings with the country's largest telecommunication company, a police spokesman said, one of three corruption cases weighing on the prime minister's political future.

The police statement confirmed that the Netanyahus were interviewed by investigators from the national fraud squad and the Israel Securities Authority, without giving further details.

Israeli media said Netanyahu's wife and son would be questioned separately in the telecoms investigation over their relationship with Bezeq's owner and his spouse. This is the Netanyahu's tenth interrogation since 2017 and second in 2018.

It's the second time that Netanyahu, who held the communications portfolio until past year, is being questioned over the affair.

This is the ninth time Netanyahu has been questioned in various cases directly or indirectly concerning him.

Police have recommended indicting Netanyahu on corruption charges in two other cases.

He maintains he is innocent and has denounced allegations against him as a media and police witch hunt.

He is suspected of awarding regulatory favors to the telecom firm in return for favorable coverage on a news site the company's owner controls.

The accusations, however, appear to have taken a toll, with senior cabinet ministers who had previously been outspoken in their defence, largely going silent.

Netanyahu is also accused of receiving lavish gifts from Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer.

In the first investigation, known as Case 1000, he is suspected of bribery over gifts from wealthy businessmen, which police say were worth almost US$300,000.

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