Middle East

Israeli police question PM Netanyahu in corruption probe

Benjamin Netanyahu Image copyright AFP
Image caption A defiant Mr Netanyahu mocked his accusers ahead of the questioning

Israeli police have questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as part of an inquiry into corruption allegations.

He was asked about "receiving benefits from business people", justice ministry officials said without giving details.

Ahead of the investigators' arrival at his residence on Monday, Mr Netanyahu restated that he was innocent.

He warned the media and political rivals that they should "hold off partying", adding: "Nothing will happen, because there is nothing."

Mr Netanyahu was questioned at his Jerusalem residence for about three hours, the Jerusalem Post newspaper says.

The prime minister is accused of accepting "improper gifts" worth thousands of dollars from domestic and international businessmen, the newspaper reported.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, have faced scrutiny several times over the years

Mr Netanyahu told his Likud party legislators earlier on Monday: "We hear all the media reports. We see and hear the festive spirit and atmosphere in television studios and in the corridors of the opposition.

"I want to tell them to wait for the celebrations. Do not rush... You will continue to inflate hot air balloons and we will continue to lead the state of Israel."

Opponents of Mr Netanyahu have called for an investigation into his affairs following a series of scandals in recent months - none of which has resulted in charges.

Allegations against Benjamin Netanyahu

  • Nov 2016: Investigation opens into the purchase of new submarines from Germany, after it was claimed that Mr Netanyahu's lawyer represented the company during negotiations
  • June 2016: Attorney General orders probe after French fraudster Arnaud Mimran claims he donated hundreds of thousands of euros to Mr Netanyahu's 2009 campaign - something the prime minister denies
  • July 2015: Mr Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, are accused of charging the government for the services of a contractor who did private work for them; charges are later dropped
  • May 2013: Mr Netanyahu is accused of wasting public money after it emerges $127,000 (£102,000) was spent on a customised private bedroom for a single flight to the UK
  • After Mr Netanyahu's first term as prime minister two decades ago, police recommended that he and Sara face criminal charges for keeping official gifts that should have been handed over to the state; charges are later dropped

Netanyahu denies wrongdoing ahead of investigation

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