ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 145

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Cops said to be probing two more cases against Netanyahu

Case 3000 may concern submarine deal, TV report says, no details in Case 4000; police to question PM this week for third time

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem on January 15, 2017. (AFP Photo/Pool/Ronen Zvulun)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem on January 15, 2017. (AFP Photo/Pool/Ronen Zvulun)

Police are reportedly looking into two more possible criminal probes against beleaguered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Channel 10 reported Monday, but provided few details of the new suspicions.

The reports of the two fresh probes come with Netanyahu already deeply mired in two graft investigations. The first, dubbed Case 1000, revolves around hundreds of thousands of shekels worth of gifts Netanyahu is supposed to have received. The second, Case 2000, is investigating a supposed secret deal with Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper publisher Arnon Mozes.

The two new cases have naturally been dubbed Case 3000 and Case 4000, Channel 10 said, citing police sources. Netanyahu, is set to be questioned by police for a third time later this week.

The TV report offered a “cautious estimation” that case 3000 deals with the submarine affair, in which Netanyahu’s personal lawyer David Shimron is suspected of having a possible conflict of interest in representing German shipbuilder Thyssenkrup while it was selling Israel naval vessels.

Channel 10 said it’s possible police have new evidence in the submarine affair.

The deals for patrol boats and submarines came under intense scrutiny after it emerged that Shimron also served in an advisory capacity for ThyssenKrupp, the German shipbuilder awarded the contracts for building Israel’s submarines and naval attack boats,

In December, officers from the Lahav 433 police anti-corruption unit entered the office of legal adviser Ahaz Ben-Ari at the Defense Ministry building in Tel Aviv and removed information from computers there. The data concerned the cancellation of an international tender to build four new warships to protect Israel’s offshore natural gas rigs in the Mediterranean Sea.

The contract was awarded instead to ThyssenKrupp. Under the 2015 deal, worth €430 million ($480 million), ThyssenKrupp is to supply Israel with four “Sa’ar 6 corvette” ships over a period of five years.

Additionally, Netanyahu is expected to be interviewed by cops for a third time before the end of the week, Channel 2 reported. The police will reportedly continue questioning his dealings with billionaire Israeli film producer Arnon Milchan who allegedly gave the prime minister hundreds of thousands of shekels worth of gifts and an alleged quid pro quo deal between Netanyahu and Mozes, in which the prime minister reportedly promised to advance legislation that would reduce the pro-Netanyahu Israel Hayom daily’s circulation in exchange for friendlier coverage from Mozes’ Yedioth.

On Sunday, Israel Police chief Roni Alsheich said the probes were close to completion.

“We already know what conclusions we have reached in the investigation,” Alscheich told reporters, without elaborating. “I believe we will bring the material to the prosecutor for a decision in the next few weeks,” he said.

According to the reports, by both Channel 2 and Channel 10, investigators are considering an indictment in one of two corruption probes into the prime minister. Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing.

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