Netanyahu to face new questioning over graft, media reports say

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suspected of having received luxury gifts from wealthy supporters, including Israeli businessman and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan. (Reuters)
Updated 19 November 2017
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Netanyahu to face new questioning over graft, media reports say

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to be questioned by police on Sunday for the second time this month over two alleged cases of corruption, media reports said.
Netanyahu is suspected of having received luxury gifts from wealthy supporters, including Israeli businessman and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.
Milchan, a longtime friend of Netanyahu who reportedly sent him boxes of expensive cigars and other items worth tens of thousands of dollars, was himself questioned in September.
Sunday’s questioning would be the sixth time Netanyahu has faced police investigators in recent months.
Investigators have also questioned the premier on suspicions he sought a secret deal for favorable coverage with the publisher of the top-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper.
The alleged deal, not believed to have been finalized, would have seen Netanyahu receive positive coverage in return for helping curb Yediot’s competitor, the pro-Netanyahu freesheet Israel Hayom.
Netanyahu has consistently denied any wrongdoing and says he has been the target of a campaign by political opponents.
Police would not confirm the reports of the latest questioning, which was widely reported in the Israeli media on Sunday.
Earlier this month, Netanyahu confidants Yitzhak Molcho and David Shimron, partners in a law firm and both relatives of the premier, were questioned by police as part of a probe into suspected corruption around the purchase of German submarines.
Netanyahu himself has not been named as a suspect in the submarine case, but reports said he might give testimony into the affair on Sunday.


Fresh protests in Iraq as medics raise death toll to 11

Updated 22 min 20 sec ago
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Fresh protests in Iraq as medics raise death toll to 11

  • Security forces remained deployed around the capital Baghdad
  • Overall medical sources put the death toll in the unrest at 11 people

BAGHDAD: Fresh protests hit southern Iraq Sunday as medical sources put at 11 the number of demonstrators killed in two weeks of unrest sparked by ire over corruption and lack of public services.
Security forces remained deployed around the capital Baghdad after struggling Friday to disperse crowds of angry protesters who took to the streets.
Demonstrations have roiled swathes of southern and central Iraq since erupting in the oil-rich port city of Basra on July 8, when security forces opened fire killing one person.
Overall medical sources put the death toll in the unrest at 11 people, three in each of the cities Basra, Samawah and Najaf, and one in both the cities of Diwaniyah and Karbala.
Most of them were killed by gunfire from unidentified assailants, while one person suffocated to death on tear gas used to disperse the demonstrators.
Protesters on Sunday took to the streets in the cities of Samawah and Nasiriyah, chanting “no to corruption,” a scourge Iraqis say has long blighted their country.
Since the start of the demonstrations those involved have focused their anger on the political establishment, with government buildings and party offices being sacked or set ablaze.
The Iraqi authorities have scrambled to halt the unrest and have blocked social media sites online to try to prevent the spread of protests.
Iraq is in a state of political limbo with Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi overseeing a caretaker government as wrangling to form a new government drags on after elections in May.
A coalition headed by populist cleric Moqtada Sadr topped the polls, campaigning on an anti-graft ticket to claim the most seats in parliament.