Benjamin Netanyahu, who took office as #Israel’s Prime Minister in 2009, spent three hours being grilled by police at his office Monday for suspicion of improperly receiving expensive gifts. Although Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing, questioning by the national fraud squad indicates the matter is indeed serious enough to warrant an investigation. Police spokeswoman Luba Samri stated that Netanyahu was being questioned under caution and there will be no further details released at this time.
In order to obstruct journalists’ view of the investigators’ arrival, a black screen had been set in front of the building. While the police did not speak with journalists, the Israeli media did report that the police are looking into whether or not Netanyahu inappropriately received favors from two businessmen. Israel’s Channel 2 TV reports that one of the men is allegedly from Israel while the other is supposed to be living abroad. The 67-year-old leader is also a suspect in another investigation involving relatives. The prime minister calls the reports baseless and politically motivated.
Trouble of a different kind in the Holy Land
The Haaretz newspaper is linking Netanyahu’s longtime billionaire friend Ronald Lauder to the possible sordid mess and the country’s Channel 10 TV states that Netanyahu’s son, Yair, fully accepted free trips and presents from Australian billionaire James Packer. Born in Tel Aviv, Benjamin Netanyahu has long established himself as a cognac-drinking, cigar-smoking socialite. His wife Sara has often been accused of mistreating the staff and opponents consistently accuse the couple of being out of touch with the plight of average Israelis. Complaints surrounding the Netanyahu’s household expenses are nothing new. Benjamin Netanyahu once spent $127,000 of public funds for a special sleeping cabin on an airplane.
Crime and punishment
For now, Benjamin Netanyahu does not have to step down from his position. However, if convicted and if the conviction is upheld in court, he will be required to step down. Netanyahu is not the first Israeli prime minister to face corruption charges. Former prime minister Ehud Olmert is currently in prison serving a two-year sentence. #politics #World Politics