Israeli detectives have interviewed Benjamin Netanyahu for a third time as part of a series of investigations into his conduct in office, The Guardian reports.
Amid reports in the Israeli media that police are close to deciding whether to indict the prime minister, in a post on Facebook he accused his perceived enemies in the media and politics “of an attempted coup by undemocratic means”.
Israeli media showed images of officers from the Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit arriving at Netanyahu’s official residence just before 10am on Friday, January 27.
His remarks on social media came a day after he used an appearance before the country’s parliament to defend himself against the accusations. The sometimes overlapping investigations into Netanyahu and his circle – including his wife, Sara, and son Yair – have centred largely on two cases.
The first, known as Case 1000, is investigating gifts from businessmen. They include expensive cigars and pink champagne given over the years by Arnon Milchan, the wealthy producer behind the films Fight Club and Pretty Woman who also owns shares in the Israeli television company Channel 10
A second investigation, known as Case 2000, is focused on whether the Israeli prime minister behaved properly in negotiating changes to the country’s media market, including offering to lower the circulation of a strongly pro-Netanyahu title in exchange for improved coverage in the daily Yedioth Ahronoth in conversations caught on tape.
Israeli media suggested the interview on Friday related to the second case, as part of which the publisher of Yedioth Ahronoth has been interviewed five times.
Netanyahu’s troubles have fuelled increasingly intense speculation in political circles that his coalition may be coming to an end.
Speaking before a scheduled hour-long question and answer session in the Knesset, Netanyahu denied wrongdoing. “It is legal to receive gifts from friends. They’re investigating me? They’re accusing me? This is a bad joke,” he said.
“Anyone with eyes in their head can see there is an unprecedented, hypocritical witch-hunt going on, asserting its pressure to change the government through media pressure on the attorney general, so that he will submit an indictment at any cost.”