Israeli Fraud Cops Visit The Dick Cheney Of Israel, Netanyahu Under Criminal Investigation
And the arrival of the national fraud squad indicated questions raised about him are considered serious enough to merit an investigation. Police said Netanyahu was questioned “under caution,” a term signaling that he is a suspect.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said Netanyahu was questioned on “suspicions he received benefits.” She said there would be no further details released at this stage.
The police team did not speak to journalists, but Israeli media said they are looking into suspicions that Netanyahu inappropriately accepted expensive gifts from two businessmen. A black screen was had been placed in front of the building in apparent anticipation of the investigators’ arrival and to obstruct the view of journalists seeking to film them.
Typical of a crook, Netanyahu has denied what he calls “baseless” reports that he received inappropriate gifts, a point he reiterated at a meeting of his Likud faction earlier in the day.
“We’ve been paying attention to reports in the media, we are hearing the celebratory mood and the atmosphere in the television studios and the corridors of the opposition, and I would like to tell them, stop with the celebrations, don’t rush,” he said. “There won’t be anything because there is nothing.”
Israel’s Channel 2 TV has said that Netanyahu accepted “favors” from businessmen in Israel and abroad and that he is the central suspect in a second investigation that also involves family members.
The newspaper Haaretz said billionaire Ronald Lauder, a longtime friend of Netanyahu’s, was linked to the affair. Channel 10 TV has reported that Netanyahu’s oldest son, Yair, accepted free trips and other gifts from Australian billionaire James Packer.
In October, Lauder was summoned by police for questioning “related to a certain investigation conducted by them and in which Mr. Lauder is not its subject matter,” said Helena Beilin, Lauder’s Israeli attorney. “After a short meeting, he was told that his presence is no longer required and that there shall be no further need for additional meetings.”
Israel’s Justice Ministry declined to comment.
The Netanyahus have denied any wrongdoing, and say they are the target of a witch hunt by the Israeli media.