Netanyahu faces eighth questioning in graft probes

Correspondence shows Sara Netanyahu also implicated in Bezeq probe — report

About 70 protesters gathered outside the prime minister's residence, demanding he step down.

The company has denied wrongdoing.

Israeli police confirmed that an anti-corruption unit had questioned the couple for several hours each, but did not say whether the questioning was in connection with the case of Bezeq Israel Telecom.

The development comes ahead of the prime minister's visit to Washington where he is to meet with President Donald Trump and speak before the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC next week.

It's the first time that Netanyahu, who as prime minister also held the communications portfolio until previous year, is being questioned over the affair, known as Case 4000.

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According to reports, legal complications for Netanyahu are mounting by the day, with four cases under investigation and others to come. Netanyahu is suspected of acting to benefit internet giant Bezeq, also owned by Elovitch, for favorable coverage on the news site.

A statement issued on behalf of the prime minister said that none of this ever took place and that this was a continuation of "tendentious" and "false" leaks against Sara Netanyahu that are aimed at undermining the prime minister and his government.

He is also suspected of trying to bribe a retired judge to block a probe into the prime minister's wife over alleged misuse of public funds.

Israeli police on Friday stormed the official residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's to question him, according to media reports, for the eighth time over allegations of fraud and bribery.

Channel 10 News reported on Thursday evening that police have seen text conversations between Sara and Elovitch's wife Iris which strengthen suspicions that their husbands traded favours. It is now up to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to decide whether to indict Netanyahu in those cases, dubbed Case 1000 and Case 2000.

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In Case 1000, police say Netanyahu received gifts worth 1 million shekels ($280 million) from overseas businessmen.

The other investigation involves the so-called "Yediot Aharonot affair", in which Netanyahu allegedly reached an agreement with the publisher of a newspaper to receive favorable coverage, in exchange for supporting a bill to weaken a competitor of that paper. So far, Netanyahu has not been directly linked to that case.

Netanyahu has repeatedly denied wrongdoing in both cases and has questioned the integrity of high-ranking officers handling the investigations, calling the probes a politically motivated "witch hunt".

In the two other cases in which police have already recommended that Netanyahu be charged, the final decision about whether or not to prosecute rests with the Israeli attorney general.

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