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Israeli PM's wife suspected of taking bribes: police

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-08-31 09:20
In this file photo taken on January 31, 2017, Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends an event at the Knesset (Israel's parliament) in Jerusalem. [Photo/VCG]

JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife is suspected of accepting bribes in a corruption case involving her husband and Israel's largest telecom company, the police told a court on Thursday.

During the discussion, with a copy of its protocol obtained by Xinhua, a police official told the Tel Aviv Magistrate Court that Netanyahu's wife, Sara, is suspected of receiving bribes.

It was the first time the police publicly specified the suspicion against Sara Netanyahu, who was already questioned several times in the high-profile criminal investigation.

The case, dubbed by the police as "Case 4000", involves the couple and Shaul Elovitch, a businessman and Benjamin Netanyahu's associate.

Elovitch's communication company Bezeq Telecom allegedly received financial benefits from the communication ministry during Netanyahu's service as the communication minister.

In return, Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu allegedly received positive coverage by the Walla news site, also controlled by Elovitch.

However, Sara Netanyahu's lawyers released a statement denying the accusations against her, saying she never took part in any bribery case.

The prime minister is entangled in a series of criminal corruption investigations.

In February, the police said there was enough evidence to charge Netanyahu with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in two other cases. However, Attorney General of Israel Avichai Mandelblit has still to decide whether to press charges or to drop the cases.

Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing and charges the investigations are part of a "witch hunt" orchestrated by the "leftist" media and his enemies.

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