Police question Netanyahu in case involving close associates

An Israeli police officer moves protesters as police interrogators arrive to the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Israeli police are questioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as part of an investigation into a corruption case involving the country's telecom giant. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Israeli police interrogators arrive to the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Israeli police are questioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as part of an investigation into a corruption case involving the country's telecom giant. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
An Israeli police officer moves protesters as police interrogators arrive to the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Israeli police are questioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as part of an investigation into a corruption case involving the country's telecom giant. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Israeli police interrogators arrive to the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Israeli police are questioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as part of an investigation into a corruption case involving the country's telecom giant. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

JERUSALEM — Israeli police took testimony Tuesday from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as part of an investigation into a conflict-of-interest case involving a $2 billion purchase of German submarines and some of the Israeli leader's closest associates.

Police were seen arriving at Netanyahu's official residence and later confirmed in a statement they questioned Netanyahu for several hours in the case, in which he has not been named a suspect. It was the first time he was questioned in this specific case, they added.

Netanyahu was expected to be questioned as a suspect Tuesday in a separate corruption case involving the country's telecom giant, Bezeq. Two Netanyahu confidants have been arrested on suspicion of promoting regulation worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the telecom company.

In return, Bezeq's subsidiary news site, Walla, allegedly provided positive Netanyahu coverage. The confidants have turned state witnesses.

But police later said investigators had questioned Netanyahu only over the submarine affair.

Netanyahu's personal attorney, who is also his cousin, represented the German firm involved and is suspected of using his influence over the prime minister in return for a hefty cut of the deal.

Police have recommended indicting Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two other cases. One involves accusations that he received gifts from billionaire business moguls. The other alleges Netanyahu offered a newspaper publisher legislation that would weaken his paper's main rival in return for more favorable coverage.

Netanyahu has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the accusations as a witch hunt orchestrated by a hostile media.

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This story has been corrected to show that Netanyahu was questioned in a case involving a $2 billion purchase of German submarines, not a telecoms corruption case

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