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Netanyahu’s Personal Lawyer Testifies in Prime Minister’s Criminal Probes

© AP Photo / Tsafrir AbayovIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a press conference at his office in Jerusalem, Israel, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a press conference at his office in Jerusalem, Israel, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. - Sputnik International
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The personal lawyer of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu testified to police investigators on Monday concerning two criminal investigations in which the premier is currently implicated.

According to police, David Shimron only testified about an investigation alleging that Netanyahu and his family illegally accepted gifts from billionaires, known as Case 1,000 and an attempt by the PM to halt the expansion of the Israel Hayom newspaper and receive more favorable coverage by having several conversations with Arnon Mozes, publisher of Yediot Aharonoth in an investigation called Case 2,000. 

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Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, is also implicated in the graft case. After a third round of questioning in January, the prime minister defended himself before the Knesset, saying the accusations had were politically motivated and that he had done nothing illegal or out of the ordinary.

He said, "The goal is to pressure the attorney-general to press charges at any cost. There is no limit to the hounding, the persecution, the lies."

After tapes were released of recorded conversations between Mozes and Netanyahu, he told officials in the Likud Party, "There's a campaign of biased leaks, intended to mislead the public and distort the true picture, as if there were offenses here that didn't happen," according to Al Jazeera

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Jafar Farah, who leads the Palestinian advocacy group Mossawa, said at the time, "The recordings throw a glimmer of light on the systemic corruption in Israel. The main political players are connected to networks in the media and big business, and behind the scenes they fight each other for control."

Shimron is involved in a separate police investigation known as the "Submarine Affair," which alleges that the lawyer, who is also Netanyahu’s cousin, illegally acted as a middleman in in the multi-billion shekel sale of a submarine manufactured by German company ThyssenKrupp. The prime minister is not implicated in this case and, according to Jerusalem Post, Shimron did not give testimony for this case.

The attorney said at the time, "I am absolutely certain… that objective, expert officials will find, once and for all, that my actions were faultless and that I acted according to the law and in line with conflict-of-interest arrangements."

Netanyahu was questioned in February for the fourth time, and the investigations are reportedly drawing to a close.

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