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>> More problems for Benjamin Netanyahu as he grapples with corruption allegations that could drive him from office. I'm Jeffrey Hiller, Reuters editor in charge in Jerusalem. In court, a string of suspects, some close associates of the prime minister, ordered held for more questioning in a series of investigations revolving around Netanyahu.
In a luxury hotel in Jerusalem, Netanyahu, himself, projecting an image of business as usual, brimming with confidence, telling a conference of American Jewish leaders, see you next year. But in a dramatic reversal for Netanyahu, his water tight inner circle has sprung a leak. His long-term confidant Shlomo Filber has turned state's witness.
He's agreed to testify for the prosecution, leaving Netanyahu at his most vulnerable yet. Filber once headed the Communications Ministry. He's suspected of colluding with Shaul Elovitch, the former chairman of Bezeq, Israel's largest telecommunications company, to grant that firm regulatory benefits in return for favorable coverage from the Tenyao on a media website controlled by Elevage.
It’s a complicated case, and along with two other separate investigations, threatens to end the Netanyahu's long dominance of Israeli politics. Those bribery cases focus on gifts, $300,000 worth of cigars, champagne, and jewelry that police say Netanyahu and his wife received from wealthy businessmen. Netanyahu is also suspected of offering to curtail the situation of one Israeli newspaper in return for more positive coverage in another.
Netanyahu denies any wrong doing, and partners in his governing coalition says, they're sticking with him, for now. But there's already speculation of an early election, a ballot that would likely delay the investigations and preempt the decision, expected in a few months, by Israel's attorney general on whether to indite Netanyahu as police have recommended.