Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was detained and interrogated for three hours at his home Monday night on suspicion of corruption in a criminal investigation authorized by the nation’s attorney general, CNN Reported.
According to the report, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld released a statement saying Netanyahu was questioned “under caution on the suspicions of receiving benefits.”
The term “under caution” refers to the questioning of someone suspected of having committed a crime, with the warning that anything they say or decline to talk about could be used against them in court proceedings.
A source was cited saying “the Prime Minister was detained for the length of the interrogation and was not taken to jail, but he could be charged and arrested at any time.” Police and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, however, declined to release any further details of the three-hour questioning.
Netanyahu has denied the allegations against him, saying they are “politically motivated.” On New Year’s Day, he posted on his Facebook page: “Unfortunately you’ll have to be disappointed this time as well, like you were disappointed in previous affairs. As usual, there will not be anything because there is nothing.”
This is not the first time Netanyahu is investigated for alleged crimes related to fraud and breach of trust during his first term. But he was never indicted. But
Netanyahu is in his fourth term. He has often had a combative relationship with the media, which have speculated for days about when the criminal investigation would officially begin and what it would entail.
According to Police, until now, the inquiry was an examination. That changed as police cars pulled into his residence on Monday night, marking the beginning of the criminal investigation.
If he is indicted, he will face enormous public and political pressure to step down.