Netanyahu could be questioned this week over criminal accusations, Israeli media reports


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could be questioned by police this week over various allegations of criminal wrongdoing against him.

Among those who reportedly have provided evidence against the prime minister is World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder, a long-time friend of Netanyahu.

Lauder has admitted to giving Netanyahu gifts including suits, as well as hospitality for one of his sons on trips outside of Israel. Lauder has said these were gifts that friends give to each other and serve no other purpose.

Two other businessmen reportedly have said they gave expensive gifts to the Netanyahus.

Netanyahu’s office reportedly has not been able to come up with a block of time sufficiently long enough for the police’s first interrogation session, but the questioning should come this week, according to reports.  The prime minister likely will be questioned under caution, meaning that he is suspected of committing a crime.

“All past alleged affairs have turned out to be baseless and the same will happen to the claims currently being reported in the media. We repeat: Nothing will happen—because there is nothing,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement carried in Israeli media.

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