Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s questioning is connected with two separate breaches of trust cases: one is code-named Case 3000 over allegations of bribes and the second one dubbed Case 4000 over suspicions of influencing media coverage in his favor.
This Friday morning began for the Israeli prime minister and his wife with the arrival of police forces, as the Jerusalem Post newspaper reports: Benjamin Netanyahu was questioned in his official residence in Jerusalem, his wife, Sara, was simultaneously testifying over her engagement in the “Bezeq affair,” otherwise known as Case 4000 at the Israeli national police headquarters.
Case 4000 is connected with suspicions that while working as communications minister in 2014-2017, in addition to his prime ministerial post, that Netanyahu was helping the Bezeq group, controlled by Shaul Elovitch, in exchange for a beneficial image of Netanyahu and his policies in the media.
Sara Netanyahu, for her part, is suspected of communicating with Elovitch’s wife, Iris, aiming to secure favorable coverage in another media outlet, Walla.
According to the Channel 10 News, back in 2015, she sent a message to Iris Elovitch concerning an article published in Walla, requesting her to change it in exchange for some benefits.
“You are killing me. You are slaughtering us. You are ruining the country,” Sara Netanyahu stated, as quoted by the channel. “What kind of a website is it?” she asked. “What’s going on here? Change it. Do something with it. You are the owners of the website. Do it quickly.”
As the media outlet specifies, the police managed to obtain recordings from Walla CEO Ilan Yeshua, containing evidence of pressure he experienced from Shaul and Iris Elvoitch in this case.
According to the Channel 10 News fragments of the recordings Elovitch was appealing to Yeshua, saying that Netanyahu “made an effort for us, we should do the same for him.”
Previously, the media had also presented a part of Yeshua’s testimony, in which he describes the pressure the Elvoitch family put on him to fire Walla editor-in-chief Aviram Elad, after the latter approved an article on the “submarine affair” that “the Netanyahu couple didn’t like.”
As Yeshua specified, quoted by the channel, after the publication of the article in November 2016, Sara Netanyahu started looking into Elad’s profile and found his other works, supporting the Iran nuclear deal, which Israel opposes.
Thus, as Yeshua stated, Elovitch had asked him to fire Elad, but he rejected this demand.
Reacting to all the charges against Netanyahu, the Prime Minister’s office refuted them, labelling them “fake news.”