Two key suspects in a graft probe towards Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been questioned below warning on Thursday on the headquarters of the Israel Police’s anti-corruption unit.
Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes and Zionist Union MK Eitan Cabel reportedly had been requested to answer new info given to police by a former high Netanyahu adviser, Nir Hefetz, who has turned state’s witness in the case.
Case 2000 entails suspicions that Netanyahu and Mozes plotted collectively in 2014 to advance laws that might have hobbled Yedioth’s major enterprise rival, the right-wing freebie Israel Hayom, in alternate for extra optimistic protection of Netanyahu in Mozes’s newspaper.
In a separate investigation of one other former Netanyahu aide, Ari Harow, police unearthed recordings of conversations between Netanyahu and Mozes in which the 2 spoke explicitly about such a deal. Both males now say the dialog was theoretical, and neither acted on it.
Cabel, who drafted the regulation that might have required Israeli newspapers to cost minimal charges, thus forcing Israel Hayom to desert its freebie mannequin, can also be a suspect in the case.
Cabel and Mozes each confronted questioning on the Lod headquarters of the Lahav 433 anti-corruption investigative unit.
Shortly after the questioning, Cabel insisted in an Army Radio interview Thursday morning that he did nothing fallacious.
“I have no idea why I’m being investigated. I acted professionally and honestly” when advancing the Israel Hayom invoice, he insisted. “Everything I did was for purely parliamentary reasons.”
He stated investigators requested him on Thursday whether or not both Netanyahu or Mozes had requested him to advance the invoice.
He advised that he, as an opposition lawmaker, was being questioned to make the investigation look apolitical.
“I hope there isn’t an invisible hand here that’s trying to create ‘balance’ in the case. I know where I stand. My hands are clean.”