Police investigating corruption arrive at home of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Chris Baynes
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on 19 November: REUTERS

Police have arrived at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's official residence as part of an investigation into corruption allegations.

Detectives have previously questioned him over claims he received gifts from Hollywood and business figures.

A separate probe is looking into secret talks with the publisher of a major Israeli newspaper in which the Israeli leader allegedly requested positive coverage in exchange for reining in a free pro-Netanyahu daily.

Police were questioning Mr Netanyahu for the sixth time on Sunday, according to Israeli media. A police spokeswoman declined to confirm the reports.

No charges have been brought against the Israeli leader, who has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and called the accusations against him a witch hunt orchestrated by a hostile media.

The scandal has yet to threaten his eight-year rule, but has harmed his public approval ratings.

Investigators arrived at Mr Netanyahu's official residence in Jerusalem late on Sunday afternoon and disappeared behind security gates.

Israeli media reported this week that police believe they have sufficient evidence to charge the Prime Minister with bribery for accepting gifts worth hundreds of thousands of shekels from wealthy businessmen.

Among the alleged donors is billionaire film producer Arnon Milchan, who purportedly gave cigars and champagne to the premier over a seven to eight-year period. In return, Mr Netanyahu is claimed to have lobbied then US Secretary of State John Kerry over Mr Milchan's bid to acquire a new US visa.

In a separate case, the Israeli leader's wife, Sara Netanyahu, is facing a trial over alleged misuse of public funds. She is accused of using money set aside for the prime minister’s official residence for furniture and improvements to the pair’s private home, among other offences.

Police said earlier this month that a top confidant of the Prime Minister had also been questioned as part of a different investigation into a $2bn (£1.5bn) submarine deal with Germany.

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