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Benjamin Netanyahu being investigated for fraud, breach of …

Details into Israeli authorities’ investigation into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally emerged on Thursday, following months of questions and media speculation.

A court order issued by the police to an Israelicourt disclosed that the prime minister was being investigated “on suspicion of the commission of the felonies of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.”

Read more:Israel arrests Netanyahu allies over German submarine deal

Police had principally been seeking acourt injunction aimed at barring publication of “any details from the negotiations under way with (former Netanyahu aide) Ari Harrow and counsel.” However, the court also disclosed Netanyahu’s suspected wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, Harrow, Netanyahu’s former chief-of-staff, has agreed to testify in two cases against his former boss. Israeli media say Harrow reached a deal with the prosecutors on Friday.

Multiple allegations facing “Bibi”

Netanyahu’s suspected wrongdoing revolves around two separate cases. The first case, known as File 1,000, relates to illegal gifts received by Netanyahu and his family from business associates, including Australian billionaire James Packer and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan. File 2,000, meanwhile, concerns alleged attempts by the prime minister to strike a deal with the publisherof the Yediot Ahronot newspaper group, offering legislation that would weaken the publisher’s competitors in exchange for favorable coverage.

Netanyahuhas denied any wrongdoing. A spokesman for the Israeli premier responded to the court order on Thursday, saying he was the victim “a witch-hunt, now at its peak, aimed at changing the government.”

Read more:Netanyahu slams UN, denies corruption on Australia visit

The spokesman continued: “This is destined to fail, for a simple reason: Nothing will happen because nothing happened.”

However, Odelia Carmon, another former aide of Netanyahu’s who worked alongside Harrow, said that if the former aide wereto testify, the revelations would be a “bombshell.”

“He dealt with raising donations, he dealt with the finances, he dealt with state secrets,” Carmon told a local radio station on Wednesday. “So this is not someone that Netanyahu can disavow, and I further believe he has everything documented.”

According to Israeli media, Harrow owns recordings of Netanyahu’s conversations with Yedioth publisher Arnon Mozes.

Justice shines a light on Israeli politics

Netanyahu isn’t the first Israeli leader to have faced a criminal probe. In 2014, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was convicted of breach of trust and bribery, while Ariel Sharon was questioned while in office over allegations of bribery and illegal campaign financing activities.

Netanyahu has also found himself tied up in a separate investigation over a $2 billion deal to buy German submarines, which has led to the arrests of seven public officials and private business people. Although the prime minister isn’t implicated in the case, his personal lawyer and second cousin is representing the local agent of German manufacturer, ThyssenKrupp, and is believed to have helped push the deal.

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Benjamin Netanyahu being investigated for fraud, breach of …

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Israeli Supreme Court orders Benjamin Netanyahu to reveal conversations with GOP donor Sheldon Adelson – Washington Examiner

Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday ruled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conversations with casino magnate and GOP mega donor Sheldon Adelson are a matter of public interest and must be disclosed.

According to the ruling, Netanyahu must disclose the dates of his phone conversations with the conservative gambling mogul who is a financier of and publisher of a free Israel newspaper.

The Adelson-funded Israel Hayom is widely perceived as strongly supportive of Netanyahu and the phone calls may offer further insights into any links that could exist between Netanyahu’s administration and the publication, along with any potential conflicts of interest.

Netanyahu has been under fire for amidst legal troubles that include criminal probes into whether he attempted to arrange more favorable coverage from the publisher of a rival publication in exchange for curbing Israel Hayom’s circulation numbers.

Israeli police disclosed last week that Netanyahu is suspected of crimes involving fraud, breach of trust and bribes.

Netanyahu maintains that he has committed no wrongdoing.

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Israeli Supreme Court orders Benjamin Netanyahu to reveal conversations with GOP donor Sheldon Adelson – Washington Examiner

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With indictment in question, Likud members come out swinging for Netanyahu – The Jerusalem Post

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem May 21, 2017.. (photo credit:EMIL SALMAN/POOL)

Likud ministers and members of Knesset took to the media Sunday morning in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following a weekend of dramatic developments in the police case that has him suspected of corruption and other criminal activities. Their main message to the press and the public is that the prime minister has done nothing wrong and that calls for his ousting are politically motivated and an unlawful attempt to depose the government by non-democratic means.

Netanyahu is currently being investigated in three separate cases, nicknamed cases 1000, 2000 and 3000 by the press. He faces possible charges for accepting gifts from a wealthy friend in exchange for political favors, colluding with Yediot Aharonot’s publisher for favorable coverage and for involvement in a corruption case surrounding the purchase of German submarines.

Netanyahu’s situation was complicated last week by the fact that his former chief of staff, Ari Harow, signed a state’s witness deal. By doing so, Harow is protecting himself – evading possible jail time to instead complete 6 months of community service and pay a 700,000 NIS fine – but also suggesting Netanyahu’s guilt.

Tzachi Hanegbi, a Likud MK and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office in charge of national security and foreign affairs, shared his doubts about the indictment process. In an interview on Army Radio, he said that the court’s reaching of a decision that would theoretically remove Netanyahu from office could take three or four years, meaning that it could come after the next elections take place in 2019.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be allowed to fulfill his duties in accordance with the mandate he received from the public, in a state of law and democratic rule, not to dismiss a prime minister based on media headlines, opposition demonstrations or partial investigative procedures. I trust the law enforcement system will carry out its work with the professionalism and responsibility required to enable the State of Israel to continue to deal adequately with the complex challenges it faces.”

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) on Saturday also stated that Netanyahu could stay in office even if he’s indicted.

From the legal perspective, if theres an indictment, the prime minister doesnt have to resign, Shaked explained on Channel 2’s Meet the Press. There is the side of values, and that is a question that coalition parties will have to ask themselves if we reach that day, but we arent there. Theres still a long process.

Shaked called for letting the government and the prime minister do their jobs.

Politicians from the opposition, meanwhile, take it as a given that Netanyahu should leave his post, some saying such a move has been long overdue. Zionist Union chairman Avi Gabbay told Army Radio Sunday that he believes the public has tired of leaders tainted by corruption and wrongdoing, but that he had few expectations from Netanyahu’s allies to stand up for the rule of law since it doesn’t serve them politically at the moment.

The Israeli public also had their say with two protests taking place near Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblits home in Petah Tikva for the 37th consecutive Saturday night. One of the protests, attended by some 2,000 people, called for Mandelblit to indict the prime minister, while the other was a pro-Netanyahu counter-demonstration organized by coalition chairman David Bitan and fellow Likud lawmakers, which was attended by some 150 people.

Lahav Harkov and Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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With indictment in question, Likud members come out swinging for Netanyahu – The Jerusalem Post

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Netanyahu sends ‘all is normal’ signal at cabinet – The Jerusalem Post

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enters a security cabinet meeting, August 2017. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Opting to send a signal of business as usual, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu avoided the topic of the police investigations against him at the start of Sunday’s cabinet meeting, opting instead to speak briefly about his achievements in Africa and efforts to find a solution for the Netiv HaAvot outpost in Gush Etzion.

Rather than make any mention of Ari Harow, his former chief of staff who on Friday agreed to turn state’s witness, Netanyahu began the weekly meeting by saying that he will host Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe on Monday, the third visit of the African leader to Israel in a year.

Among other things, I will speak with him about the Africa-Israel summit that Togo is to host in another two months, Netanyahu said. This will be my third visit to Africa in little over a year, first in east Africa, and then in west Africa, and now at an economic-technology summit in Africa with a clear goal: to bring Israel back to Africa in a big way.

As first reported in the The Jerusalem Post last week, Netanyahu said this was not happening without opposition.

Various pressure is being placed on Togo’s president to cancel the summit, and this is the best testimony to the success of our policies of penetrating into Africa, he said.

The Post reported last week that The Palestinian Authority and Morocco were both working to upend the summit, and that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met Gnassingbe at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa last month and urged him to reconsider holding the summit.

Netanyahu said he will discuss ways with the Togolese president of how Israel could further its inroads into Africa.

As further proof of the success of his Africa policy, Netanyahu pointed out that the small island state of Cape Verde off the west coast of Africa declared last week that it will no longer vote against Israel in UN institutions. This is important, and proof of success, he said.

Netanyahu also said that a committee he heads will meet later in day to deal with the question of Netiv HaAvot, an outpost of some 15 structures on the outskirts of Elazar in Gush Etzion that the Supreme Court ruled in 2016 was not built on state land, and needs to be removed by March 2018.

We are dealing with this continuously and are trying to find a solution a humane and logical solution, he said.

Last month protesters demonstrated outside the Knesset against the planned removal of the buildings, calling on Netanyahu to step in to legalize the outpost.

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Netanyahu sends ‘all is normal’ signal at cabinet – The Jerusalem Post

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Benjamin Netanyahu suspected of bribery, fraud, Israeli police say – CBS News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends his weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem July 30, 2017.

Reuters/Amir Cohen

Last Updated Aug 4, 2017 2:17 PM EDT

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suspected of crimes involving fraud, breach of trust and bribes in two corruption cases, Israeli police revealed Thursday.

Police have been questioning Netanyahu for months over the cases but have released few details. A gag order was released Thursday night on reporting the details of talks that are underway to enlist a state witness.

The document says the cases involving Netanyahu deal with “a suspicion of committing crimes of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.”

On Friday, police said Netanyahu’s former chief of staff and onetime close confidant agreed to testify against him.

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The police said in a statement that Ari Harow will serve six months of community service and pay a fine of 700,000 Shekels (about $193,000) for his involvement in a separate corruption case, apparently a lighter-than-expected sentence in exchange for his testimony.

Netanyahu’s office has repeatedly denied wrongdoing over the investigations, portraying the accusations as a witch hunt against him and his family by a hostile media opposed to his hard-line political views.

A statement from his office Thursday night said, “We completely reject the unfounded claims against the prime minister.” It said the allegations are part of a campaign to “replace the government” and “there will be nothing, because there was nothing.”

In a video posted to Facebook Friday, he refered to the news as “the inevitable scandal of the week,” according to the Reuters news agency.

“I would like to tell you, citizens of Israel, that I do not heed background noises,” he said. “I continue to work for you.”

One investigation, dubbed “File 1000,” reportedly concerns claims that Netanyahu improperly accepted lavish gifts from wealthy supporters, including Australian billionaire James Packer and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.

The second investigation, “File 2000,” reportedly concerns Netanyahu’s alleged attempts to strike a deal with publisher Arnon Mozes of the Yediot Ahronot newspaper group to promote legislation to weaken Yediot’s main competitor in exchange for more favorable coverage of him by Yediot.

The U.S.-born Harow has been under investigation for the past two years for fraud and other crimes regarding the sale of his consulting company while working as chief of staff, according to media reports.

Police reportedly have a copy of a recording made by Harow of a 2014 conversation between Netanyahu and the publisher.

After eight years in office, in addition to an earlier term in the 1990s, Netanyahu has garnered an image as a cigar-puffing, cognac-drinking socialite who is as comfortable rubbing shoulders with international celebrities as he is making deals in parliament. His wife, Sara, has been accused of abusive behavior toward staff.

Scandals have long dogged the couple over their lavish tastes and opponents have portrayed both as being out of touch with the struggles of average Israelis.

2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Benjamin Netanyahu suspected of bribery, fraud, Israeli police say – CBS News

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Demonstrators square off over Netanyahu graft probes – The Times of Israel

Some 2,000 people protested near the home of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Saturday calling on him to bring indictments in a pair of corruption investigations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

While demonstrations near Mandelblits home in Petah Tivka have been held every Saturday for half-a-year amid accusations Mandelblit is dragging his feet in the cases, Saturdays protest was significantly larger, coming after Netanyahus former chief of staff turned states witness on Friday.

A number of opposition lawmakers, among them MK Yoel Hasson (Zionist Union) and MK Zehava Galon (Meretz), attended the protest Saturday evening.

I will be at the demonstration in Petah Tikva tonight in order to send a message: The die is cast, Hasson tweeted. A prime minister under investigation needs to go home.

Anti-Netanyahu demonstrations were also held in a number of other cities, among them Jerusalem, Haifa, Beersheba and Ashdod, the Haaretz daily reported.

Demonstrators protest near the home of Attorney General Mandelblit in Petah Tikva on August 5, 2017. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Nearby the Petah Tikva protest, some 100 supporters of the prime ministers Likud party held a counter-demonstration, which was organized by Coalition Chairman David Bitan as a show of support for Netanyahu.

These demonstrations are anti-democratic and their role is to pressure the attorney general, the Likud MK told the Walla news site. What they are doing is against the rule of law. These protests are unnecessary.

Likud MK David Bitan attends a protest in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu near the weekly demonstration by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblits home in Petah Tikva on August 5, 2017. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Also present alongside Bitan were Communications Minister Ayoub Kara and Likud MK Nava Boker.

They want to get rid of [Netanyahu] because of cigars, ice cream and all sorts of small things. They cant put the state into an unnecessary internal war, Kara said, referring to allegations that Netanyahu received cigars from billionaire benefactors and the prime ministers use of state funds for ice cream.

Likud MK Nava Boker (R) attends a protest in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu near the weekly demonstration by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblits home in Petah Tikva on August 5, 2017. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

On Friday, Hebrew media reported that police will recommend filing indictments against Netanyahu in two cases Case 1000 and Case 2000 as the investigations appear to be strengthened by significant material provided by Netanyahus former chief of staff and aide, Ari Harow.

A police recommendation does not carry legal weight. It is for state prosecutors to decide whether to press charges.

According to a statement from the Israel Police Friday, Harow is expected to receive six months of community service and a NIS 700,000 fine ($193,000) on breach of trust charges in exchange for his testimony against his former boss.

In Case 1000, Netanyahu and his wife Sara are suspected of receiving illicit gifts from billionaire benefactors, most notably hundreds of thousands of shekels worth of cigars and champagne from the Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.

Case 2000 involves a suspected illicit quid pro quo deal between Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes that would have seen the prime minister hobble a rival daily, the Sheldon Adelson-backed Israel Hayom, through Knesset legislation in return for more favorable coverage from Yedioth.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flanked by former chief of staff Ari Harow, left, and former parliamentary adviser Perach Lerner, right, as he arrives at a Likud faction meeting in the Israeli parliament, November 24, 2014. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Harow is expected to provide information in both probes, having served as chief of staff during the time of the alleged deal with Mozes and while Netanyahu is said to have received gifts worth thousands of shekels.

On Saturday, Channel 2 reported that Harow has completed his testimony over recent weeks and has given police information on potentially incriminating actions he carried out for his former boss.

Channel 2 reported Friday that Harow was sent by Netanyahu to finalize the deal with Mozes, giving him and police first-hand knowledge of the suspected deal. Harow reportedly gave police details on the understandings reached between Netanyahu and Mozes, strengthening the police case beyond recordings discovered on Harows computer of their meetings in late 2014 and early 2015. This information comes from a separate police investigation into Harows affairs.

Publisher and owner of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper Arnon Noni Mozes arrives for questioning at the Lahav 433 investigation unit in Lod, January 15, 2017. (Koko/Flash90)

Harow is also expected to provide details on the method of gift-giving to the Netanyahus by Milchan and the prime ministers awareness of it. Netanyahu is a primary suspect in the case; both he and his wife have consistently denied wrongdoing.

In a Friday evening video before the start of Shabbat, Netanyahu said the investigations against him were background noise and that he was focused on working on behalf of Israeli citizens. It came hours after the deal with Harow was announced.

Police on Thursday explicitly said for the first time that a number of corruption investigations involving Netanyahu deal with bribery, fraud and breach of trust. The police stopped short of saying that the Israeli leader was directly suspected of these crimes.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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Demonstrators square off over Netanyahu graft probes – The Times of Israel

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Israeli police confirm Netanyahu is suspect in fraud investigation – The Guardian

Benjamin Netanyahus office said the allegations against the prime minister were part of a campaign to change the government. Photograph: Amir Cohen/AP

Israels prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been named as a suspect in two investigations into allegations of fraud, breach of trust and bribes as his former chief of staff had signed a deal with prosecutors to testify against him.

The suspicions against Netanyahu, who denies any wrongdoing, were revealed in a court application by detectives on Thursday seeking a gag order on reporting details of negotiations with Ari Harow, the former chief of staff, to become a state witness.

The negotiations were concluded on Friday with Harow signing a deal in which he agreed to testify in the two cases.

The confirmation of the seriousness of the allegations comes on the day after his wife, Sara, was again interviewed by police in a separate case relating to claims for household costs in the prime ministers residence.

While the scope of the investigations in the so-called cases 1000 and 2000 the first about gifts from wealthy benefactors and the second over attempts to sway media coverage have long been known, it is the first time Netanyahu has been publicly designated as a suspect.

Netanyahus office denied the accusations and said investigators were trying to bring down his government. We completely reject the unfounded claims made against the prime minister. The campaign to change the government is under way, but it is destined to fail, for a simple reason: there wont be anything because there was nothing, a statement said.

It comes as a third high-profile corruption investigation case 3000 has focused on allegations of bribery within his inner circle over a deal to buy submarines from Germany.

The application for the gag order, made to the Rishon Lezion magistrates court in central Israel, followed the confirmation by Israels attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, earlier on Thursday that talks were under way with Harow, a close confidant of Netanyahu, to testify in exchange for leniency.

Harow served as Netanyahus chief of staff for two years from 2008, when the politician was in opposition. He returned in 2014 to serve as the prime ministers chief of staff, but resigned a year later amid allegations of corruption, which he denied.

Harow was accused of having used his ties to Netanyahu to advance his private interests. Police have recommended he be indicted for bribery and breach of trust, but Mandelblit has yet to file formal charges against him.

The gag order also affects case 1000, in which the prime minister and his wife are suspected of receiving illicit gifts from billionaire benefactors most notably expensive cigars and champagne from the Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan. Netanyahu is the primary suspect in the case. The couple has denied any wrongdoing.

The investigations have begun to have an impact on Netanyahus rightwing Likud party, whose senior figures are sparring publicly over whether their leader can remain in office if he is indicted.

Likud officials have sharply criticised any suggestions Netanyahu may have to step down. The prime minister does not need to resign, rather he needs to prove his innocence, said Likuds coalition chairman, David Bitan.

There will be no indictment. But lets say there will be: the charges would still be minor and the prime minister would be able both to function and to prove his innocence.

Bitan has urged Likud supporters to rally in support of Netanyahu to counter weekly demonstrations against the slow progress of the investigation. Bitan said a rally on Saturday was designed to protest the invalid and anti-democratic attempt by those on the left who want to topple the government in a an undemocratic fashion.

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Israeli police confirm Netanyahu is suspect in fraud investigation – The Guardian

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Former Benjamin Netanyahu aide to provide information in … – The Jerusalem Post

Sara Netanyahu sitting next to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu . (photo credit:BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP)

Ari Harow, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus former chief of staff, will provide information to the police in Case 3000, dubbed the Submarine Case.

This comes after reports that Harow will provide information in cases 1000 and 2000, as part of a future deal to be a states witness, or another arrangement.

Unlike in cases 1000 (the expensive gifts affair) and 2000 (an alleged attempt to negotiate sympathetic coverage of the prime minister in Yediot Aharonot in return for the weakening of Yediot competitor Israel Hayom), the prime minister is not a suspect in Case 3000, but according to reports on Channel 2 and 10, Harows testimony might help police get closer to Netanyahu.

The American-born Harow, who has been a trusted political and personal adviser to Netanyahu, served as his bureau chief in 2008-2010 and as his chief of staff in 2014-2015.

According to a senior authority in the law-enforcement system, Harows future testimony will have a significant impact in strengthening the suspicion against Netanyahu in cases 1000 and 2000, Channel 10 reported. That source also confirms that a deal is expected to be reached with Harow soon. It wasnt the police that suggested making Harow a states witness, but his lawyer who offered it months ago, according to the report.

Harow is suspected of bribery, fraud, breach of trust and money laundering, over allegations that he advanced his business interests while being employed at the Prime Ministers Office.

Police suspect Harow of fictitiously selling 3H Global, his international government relations firm, while maintaining ownership when he returned to the Prime Ministers Office in 2014.

Harow was required to sell the company due to a possible conflict of interest.

However, Harow allegedly did not receive the full sum to which he was entitled, thus arousing suspicions of a fictitious sale.

Also on Wednesday, police questioned Sara Netanyahu, the prime ministers wife, regarding the so-called Prime Ministers Residence Affair, at the request of Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit.

The questioning, which took around two hours, was part of an effort to finalize the case against Sara Netanyahu. She was asked about inflated receipts that were submitted for purchases made for the Prime Ministers Residence.

The prime minister is also not a suspect in this case, and has denied wrongdoing by his wife.

Mandelblit will hold a meeting in two weeks to decide whether to indict Netanyahu or not, according to reports.

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Benjamin Netanyahu aide ‘close to giving evidence against him’ – Telegraph.co.uk

Detectives are looking into several sets of allegations. The first, known as Case 1000, is that Mr Netanyahu illegally accepted champagne, cigars and other gifts from wealthy businessmen over a number of years.

The second investigation, known as Case 2000, is potentially more serious. Investigators are looking at whether Mr Netanyahu tried to offer business advantages to the publisher of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper in return for more favourable coverage.

Detectives believe that Mr Harow may be able to offer information in both investigations, according to Israels Channel 2.

The prime minister has been questioned by police several times over the investigations.

Mr Netanyahu has not been charged with any crime and denies any wrongdoing. He has repeatedly insisted that the probes will lead to nothing.

The prime ministers allies sees the constant stream of leaks over the police investigation as part of a political effort to weaken him.

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Benjamin Netanyahu aide ‘close to giving evidence against him’ – Telegraph.co.uk

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Benjamin Netanyahu being investigated for fraud, breach of …

Details into Israeli authorities’ investigation into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally emerged on Thursday, following months of questions and media speculation. A court order issued by the police to an Israelicourt disclosed that the prime minister was being investigated “on suspicion of the commission of the felonies of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.” Read more:Israel arrests Netanyahu allies over German submarine deal Police had principally been seeking acourt injunction aimed at barring publication of “any details from the negotiations under way with (former Netanyahu aide) Ari Harrow and counsel.” However, the court also disclosed Netanyahu’s suspected wrongdoing. Meanwhile, Harrow, Netanyahu’s former chief-of-staff, has agreed to testify in two cases against his former boss. Israeli media say Harrow reached a deal with the prosecutors on Friday. Multiple allegations facing “Bibi” Netanyahu’s suspected wrongdoing revolves around two separate cases. The first case, known as File 1,000, relates to illegal gifts received by Netanyahu and his family from business associates, including Australian billionaire James Packer and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan. File 2,000, meanwhile, concerns alleged attempts by the prime minister to strike a deal with the publisherof the Yediot Ahronot newspaper group, offering legislation that would weaken the publisher’s competitors in exchange for favorable coverage. Netanyahuhas denied any wrongdoing. A spokesman for the Israeli premier responded to the court order on Thursday, saying he was the victim “a witch-hunt, now at its peak, aimed at changing the government.” Read more:Netanyahu slams UN, denies corruption on Australia visit The spokesman continued: “This is destined to fail, for a simple reason: Nothing will happen because nothing happened.” However, Odelia Carmon, another former aide of Netanyahu’s who worked alongside Harrow, said that if the former aide wereto testify, the revelations would be a “bombshell.” “He dealt with raising donations, he dealt with the finances, he dealt with state secrets,” Carmon told a local radio station on Wednesday. “So this is not someone that Netanyahu can disavow, and I further believe he has everything documented.” According to Israeli media, Harrow owns recordings of Netanyahu’s conversations with Yedioth publisher Arnon Mozes. Justice shines a light on Israeli politics Netanyahu isn’t the first Israeli leader to have faced a criminal probe. In 2014, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was convicted of breach of trust and bribery, while Ariel Sharon was questioned while in office over allegations of bribery and illegal campaign financing activities. Netanyahu has also found himself tied up in a separate investigation over a $2 billion deal to buy German submarines, which has led to the arrests of seven public officials and private business people. Although the prime minister isn’t implicated in the case, his personal lawyer and second cousin is representing the local agent of German manufacturer, ThyssenKrupp, and is believed to have helped push the deal. dm/gsw(AP, dpa, Reuters)

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Israeli Supreme Court orders Benjamin Netanyahu to reveal conversations with GOP donor Sheldon Adelson – Washington Examiner

Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday ruled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conversations with casino magnate and GOP mega donor Sheldon Adelson are a matter of public interest and must be disclosed. According to the ruling, Netanyahu must disclose the dates of his phone conversations with the conservative gambling mogul who is a financier of and publisher of a free Israel newspaper. The Adelson-funded Israel Hayom is widely perceived as strongly supportive of Netanyahu and the phone calls may offer further insights into any links that could exist between Netanyahu’s administration and the publication, along with any potential conflicts of interest. Netanyahu has been under fire for amidst legal troubles that include criminal probes into whether he attempted to arrange more favorable coverage from the publisher of a rival publication in exchange for curbing Israel Hayom’s circulation numbers. Israeli police disclosed last week that Netanyahu is suspected of crimes involving fraud, breach of trust and bribes. Netanyahu maintains that he has committed no wrongdoing.

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With indictment in question, Likud members come out swinging for Netanyahu – The Jerusalem Post

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem May 21, 2017.. (photo credit:EMIL SALMAN/POOL) Likud ministers and members of Knesset took to the media Sunday morning in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following a weekend of dramatic developments in the police case that has him suspected of corruption and other criminal activities. Their main message to the press and the public is that the prime minister has done nothing wrong and that calls for his ousting are politically motivated and an unlawful attempt to depose the government by non-democratic means. Netanyahu is currently being investigated in three separate cases, nicknamed cases 1000, 2000 and 3000 by the press. He faces possible charges for accepting gifts from a wealthy friend in exchange for political favors, colluding with Yediot Aharonot’s publisher for favorable coverage and for involvement in a corruption case surrounding the purchase of German submarines. Netanyahu’s situation was complicated last week by the fact that his former chief of staff, Ari Harow, signed a state’s witness deal. By doing so, Harow is protecting himself – evading possible jail time to instead complete 6 months of community service and pay a 700,000 NIS fine – but also suggesting Netanyahu’s guilt. Tzachi Hanegbi, a Likud MK and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office in charge of national security and foreign affairs, shared his doubts about the indictment process. In an interview on Army Radio, he said that the court’s reaching of a decision that would theoretically remove Netanyahu from office could take three or four years, meaning that it could come after the next elections take place in 2019. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be allowed to fulfill his duties in accordance with the mandate he received from the public, in a state of law and democratic rule, not to dismiss a prime minister based on media headlines, opposition demonstrations or partial investigative procedures. I trust the law enforcement system will carry out its work with the professionalism and responsibility required to enable the State of Israel to continue to deal adequately with the complex challenges it faces.” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) on Saturday also stated that Netanyahu could stay in office even if he’s indicted. From the legal perspective, if theres an indictment, the prime minister doesnt have to resign, Shaked explained on Channel 2’s Meet the Press. There is the side of values, and that is a question that coalition parties will have to ask themselves if we reach that day, but we arent there. Theres still a long process. Shaked called for letting the government and the prime minister do their jobs. Politicians from the opposition, meanwhile, take it as a given that Netanyahu should leave his post, some saying such a move has been long overdue. Zionist Union chairman Avi Gabbay told Army Radio Sunday that he believes the public has tired of leaders tainted by corruption and wrongdoing, but that he had few expectations from Netanyahu’s allies to stand up for the rule of law since it doesn’t serve them politically at the moment. The Israeli public also had their say with two protests taking place near Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblits home in Petah Tikva for the 37th consecutive Saturday night. One of the protests, attended by some 2,000 people, called for Mandelblit to indict the prime minister, while the other was a pro-Netanyahu counter-demonstration organized by coalition chairman David Bitan and fellow Likud lawmakers, which was attended by some 150 people. Lahav Harkov and Herb Keinon contributed to this report. Share on facebook

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August 6, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Netanyahu sends ‘all is normal’ signal at cabinet – The Jerusalem Post

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enters a security cabinet meeting, August 2017. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) Opting to send a signal of business as usual, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu avoided the topic of the police investigations against him at the start of Sunday’s cabinet meeting, opting instead to speak briefly about his achievements in Africa and efforts to find a solution for the Netiv HaAvot outpost in Gush Etzion. Rather than make any mention of Ari Harow, his former chief of staff who on Friday agreed to turn state’s witness, Netanyahu began the weekly meeting by saying that he will host Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe on Monday, the third visit of the African leader to Israel in a year. Among other things, I will speak with him about the Africa-Israel summit that Togo is to host in another two months, Netanyahu said. This will be my third visit to Africa in little over a year, first in east Africa, and then in west Africa, and now at an economic-technology summit in Africa with a clear goal: to bring Israel back to Africa in a big way. As first reported in the The Jerusalem Post last week, Netanyahu said this was not happening without opposition. Various pressure is being placed on Togo’s president to cancel the summit, and this is the best testimony to the success of our policies of penetrating into Africa, he said. The Post reported last week that The Palestinian Authority and Morocco were both working to upend the summit, and that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met Gnassingbe at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa last month and urged him to reconsider holding the summit. Netanyahu said he will discuss ways with the Togolese president of how Israel could further its inroads into Africa. As further proof of the success of his Africa policy, Netanyahu pointed out that the small island state of Cape Verde off the west coast of Africa declared last week that it will no longer vote against Israel in UN institutions. This is important, and proof of success, he said. Netanyahu also said that a committee he heads will meet later in day to deal with the question of Netiv HaAvot, an outpost of some 15 structures on the outskirts of Elazar in Gush Etzion that the Supreme Court ruled in 2016 was not built on state land, and needs to be removed by March 2018. We are dealing with this continuously and are trying to find a solution a humane and logical solution, he said. Last month protesters demonstrated outside the Knesset against the planned removal of the buildings, calling on Netanyahu to step in to legalize the outpost. Share on facebook

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August 6, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Benjamin Netanyahu suspected of bribery, fraud, Israeli police say – CBS News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends his weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem July 30, 2017. Reuters/Amir Cohen Last Updated Aug 4, 2017 2:17 PM EDT JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suspected of crimes involving fraud, breach of trust and bribes in two corruption cases, Israeli police revealed Thursday. Police have been questioning Netanyahu for months over the cases but have released few details. A gag order was released Thursday night on reporting the details of talks that are underway to enlist a state witness. The document says the cases involving Netanyahu deal with “a suspicion of committing crimes of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.” On Friday, police said Netanyahu’s former chief of staff and onetime close confidant agreed to testify against him. Play Video While delivering remarks in Israel alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Trump urged a new partnership with the Arab world. CBS … The police said in a statement that Ari Harow will serve six months of community service and pay a fine of 700,000 Shekels (about $193,000) for his involvement in a separate corruption case, apparently a lighter-than-expected sentence in exchange for his testimony. Netanyahu’s office has repeatedly denied wrongdoing over the investigations, portraying the accusations as a witch hunt against him and his family by a hostile media opposed to his hard-line political views. A statement from his office Thursday night said, “We completely reject the unfounded claims against the prime minister.” It said the allegations are part of a campaign to “replace the government” and “there will be nothing, because there was nothing.” In a video posted to Facebook Friday, he refered to the news as “the inevitable scandal of the week,” according to the Reuters news agency. “I would like to tell you, citizens of Israel, that I do not heed background noises,” he said. “I continue to work for you.” One investigation, dubbed “File 1000,” reportedly concerns claims that Netanyahu improperly accepted lavish gifts from wealthy supporters, including Australian billionaire James Packer and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan. The second investigation, “File 2000,” reportedly concerns Netanyahu’s alleged attempts to strike a deal with publisher Arnon Mozes of the Yediot Ahronot newspaper group to promote legislation to weaken Yediot’s main competitor in exchange for more favorable coverage of him by Yediot. The U.S.-born Harow has been under investigation for the past two years for fraud and other crimes regarding the sale of his consulting company while working as chief of staff, according to media reports. Police reportedly have a copy of a recording made by Harow of a 2014 conversation between Netanyahu and the publisher. After eight years in office, in addition to an earlier term in the 1990s, Netanyahu has garnered an image as a cigar-puffing, cognac-drinking socialite who is as comfortable rubbing shoulders with international celebrities as he is making deals in parliament. His wife, Sara, has been accused of abusive behavior toward staff. Scandals have long dogged the couple over their lavish tastes and opponents have portrayed both as being out of touch with the struggles of average Israelis. 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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August 5, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Demonstrators square off over Netanyahu graft probes – The Times of Israel

Some 2,000 people protested near the home of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Saturday calling on him to bring indictments in a pair of corruption investigations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. While demonstrations near Mandelblits home in Petah Tivka have been held every Saturday for half-a-year amid accusations Mandelblit is dragging his feet in the cases, Saturdays protest was significantly larger, coming after Netanyahus former chief of staff turned states witness on Friday. A number of opposition lawmakers, among them MK Yoel Hasson (Zionist Union) and MK Zehava Galon (Meretz), attended the protest Saturday evening. I will be at the demonstration in Petah Tikva tonight in order to send a message: The die is cast, Hasson tweeted. A prime minister under investigation needs to go home. Anti-Netanyahu demonstrations were also held in a number of other cities, among them Jerusalem, Haifa, Beersheba and Ashdod, the Haaretz daily reported. Demonstrators protest near the home of Attorney General Mandelblit in Petah Tikva on August 5, 2017. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90) Nearby the Petah Tikva protest, some 100 supporters of the prime ministers Likud party held a counter-demonstration, which was organized by Coalition Chairman David Bitan as a show of support for Netanyahu. These demonstrations are anti-democratic and their role is to pressure the attorney general, the Likud MK told the Walla news site. What they are doing is against the rule of law. These protests are unnecessary. Likud MK David Bitan attends a protest in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu near the weekly demonstration by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblits home in Petah Tikva on August 5, 2017. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90) Also present alongside Bitan were Communications Minister Ayoub Kara and Likud MK Nava Boker. They want to get rid of [Netanyahu] because of cigars, ice cream and all sorts of small things. They cant put the state into an unnecessary internal war, Kara said, referring to allegations that Netanyahu received cigars from billionaire benefactors and the prime ministers use of state funds for ice cream. Likud MK Nava Boker (R) attends a protest in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu near the weekly demonstration by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblits home in Petah Tikva on August 5, 2017. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90) On Friday, Hebrew media reported that police will recommend filing indictments against Netanyahu in two cases Case 1000 and Case 2000 as the investigations appear to be strengthened by significant material provided by Netanyahus former chief of staff and aide, Ari Harow. A police recommendation does not carry legal weight. It is for state prosecutors to decide whether to press charges. According to a statement from the Israel Police Friday, Harow is expected to receive six months of community service and a NIS 700,000 fine ($193,000) on breach of trust charges in exchange for his testimony against his former boss. In Case 1000, Netanyahu and his wife Sara are suspected of receiving illicit gifts from billionaire benefactors, most notably hundreds of thousands of shekels worth of cigars and champagne from the Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan. Case 2000 involves a suspected illicit quid pro quo deal between Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes that would have seen the prime minister hobble a rival daily, the Sheldon Adelson-backed Israel Hayom, through Knesset legislation in return for more favorable coverage from Yedioth. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flanked by former chief of staff Ari Harow, left, and former parliamentary adviser Perach Lerner, right, as he arrives at a Likud faction meeting in the Israeli parliament, November 24, 2014. (Miriam Alster/Flash90) Harow is expected to provide information in both probes, having served as chief of staff during the time of the alleged deal with Mozes and while Netanyahu is said to have received gifts worth thousands of shekels. On Saturday, Channel 2 reported that Harow has completed his testimony over recent weeks and has given police information on potentially incriminating actions he carried out for his former boss. Channel 2 reported Friday that Harow was sent by Netanyahu to finalize the deal with Mozes, giving him and police first-hand knowledge of the suspected deal. Harow reportedly gave police details on the understandings reached between Netanyahu and Mozes, strengthening the police case beyond recordings discovered on Harows computer of their meetings in late 2014 and early 2015. This information comes from a separate police investigation into Harows affairs. Publisher and owner of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper Arnon Noni Mozes arrives for questioning at the Lahav 433 investigation unit in Lod, January 15, 2017. (Koko/Flash90) Harow is also expected to provide details on the method of gift-giving to the Netanyahus by Milchan and the prime ministers awareness of it. Netanyahu is a primary suspect in the case; both he and his wife have consistently denied wrongdoing. In a Friday evening video before the start of Shabbat, Netanyahu said the investigations against him were background noise and that he was focused on working on behalf of Israeli citizens. It came hours after the deal with Harow was announced. Police on Thursday explicitly said for the first time that a number of corruption investigations involving Netanyahu deal with bribery, fraud and breach of trust. The police stopped short of saying that the Israeli leader was directly suspected of these crimes. Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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August 5, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Israeli police confirm Netanyahu is suspect in fraud investigation – The Guardian

Benjamin Netanyahus office said the allegations against the prime minister were part of a campaign to change the government. Photograph: Amir Cohen/AP Israels prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been named as a suspect in two investigations into allegations of fraud, breach of trust and bribes as his former chief of staff had signed a deal with prosecutors to testify against him. The suspicions against Netanyahu, who denies any wrongdoing, were revealed in a court application by detectives on Thursday seeking a gag order on reporting details of negotiations with Ari Harow, the former chief of staff, to become a state witness. The negotiations were concluded on Friday with Harow signing a deal in which he agreed to testify in the two cases. The confirmation of the seriousness of the allegations comes on the day after his wife, Sara, was again interviewed by police in a separate case relating to claims for household costs in the prime ministers residence. While the scope of the investigations in the so-called cases 1000 and 2000 the first about gifts from wealthy benefactors and the second over attempts to sway media coverage have long been known, it is the first time Netanyahu has been publicly designated as a suspect. Netanyahus office denied the accusations and said investigators were trying to bring down his government. We completely reject the unfounded claims made against the prime minister. The campaign to change the government is under way, but it is destined to fail, for a simple reason: there wont be anything because there was nothing, a statement said. It comes as a third high-profile corruption investigation case 3000 has focused on allegations of bribery within his inner circle over a deal to buy submarines from Germany. The application for the gag order, made to the Rishon Lezion magistrates court in central Israel, followed the confirmation by Israels attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, earlier on Thursday that talks were under way with Harow, a close confidant of Netanyahu, to testify in exchange for leniency. Harow served as Netanyahus chief of staff for two years from 2008, when the politician was in opposition. He returned in 2014 to serve as the prime ministers chief of staff, but resigned a year later amid allegations of corruption, which he denied. Harow was accused of having used his ties to Netanyahu to advance his private interests. Police have recommended he be indicted for bribery and breach of trust, but Mandelblit has yet to file formal charges against him. The gag order also affects case 1000, in which the prime minister and his wife are suspected of receiving illicit gifts from billionaire benefactors most notably expensive cigars and champagne from the Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan. Netanyahu is the primary suspect in the case. The couple has denied any wrongdoing. The investigations have begun to have an impact on Netanyahus rightwing Likud party, whose senior figures are sparring publicly over whether their leader can remain in office if he is indicted. Likud officials have sharply criticised any suggestions Netanyahu may have to step down. The prime minister does not need to resign, rather he needs to prove his innocence, said Likuds coalition chairman, David Bitan. There will be no indictment. But lets say there will be: the charges would still be minor and the prime minister would be able both to function and to prove his innocence. Bitan has urged Likud supporters to rally in support of Netanyahu to counter weekly demonstrations against the slow progress of the investigation. Bitan said a rally on Saturday was designed to protest the invalid and anti-democratic attempt by those on the left who want to topple the government in a an undemocratic fashion.

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August 4, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Former Benjamin Netanyahu aide to provide information in … – The Jerusalem Post

Sara Netanyahu sitting next to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu . (photo credit:BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP) Ari Harow, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus former chief of staff, will provide information to the police in Case 3000, dubbed the Submarine Case. This comes after reports that Harow will provide information in cases 1000 and 2000, as part of a future deal to be a states witness, or another arrangement. Unlike in cases 1000 (the expensive gifts affair) and 2000 (an alleged attempt to negotiate sympathetic coverage of the prime minister in Yediot Aharonot in return for the weakening of Yediot competitor Israel Hayom), the prime minister is not a suspect in Case 3000, but according to reports on Channel 2 and 10, Harows testimony might help police get closer to Netanyahu. The American-born Harow, who has been a trusted political and personal adviser to Netanyahu, served as his bureau chief in 2008-2010 and as his chief of staff in 2014-2015. According to a senior authority in the law-enforcement system, Harows future testimony will have a significant impact in strengthening the suspicion against Netanyahu in cases 1000 and 2000, Channel 10 reported. That source also confirms that a deal is expected to be reached with Harow soon. It wasnt the police that suggested making Harow a states witness, but his lawyer who offered it months ago, according to the report. Harow is suspected of bribery, fraud, breach of trust and money laundering, over allegations that he advanced his business interests while being employed at the Prime Ministers Office. Police suspect Harow of fictitiously selling 3H Global, his international government relations firm, while maintaining ownership when he returned to the Prime Ministers Office in 2014. Harow was required to sell the company due to a possible conflict of interest. However, Harow allegedly did not receive the full sum to which he was entitled, thus arousing suspicions of a fictitious sale. Also on Wednesday, police questioned Sara Netanyahu, the prime ministers wife, regarding the so-called Prime Ministers Residence Affair, at the request of Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit. The questioning, which took around two hours, was part of an effort to finalize the case against Sara Netanyahu. She was asked about inflated receipts that were submitted for purchases made for the Prime Ministers Residence. The prime minister is also not a suspect in this case, and has denied wrongdoing by his wife. Mandelblit will hold a meeting in two weeks to decide whether to indict Netanyahu or not, according to reports. Share on facebook

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August 3, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed

Benjamin Netanyahu aide ‘close to giving evidence against him’ – Telegraph.co.uk

Detectives are looking into several sets of allegations. The first, known as Case 1000, is that Mr Netanyahu illegally accepted champagne, cigars and other gifts from wealthy businessmen over a number of years. The second investigation, known as Case 2000, is potentially more serious. Investigators are looking at whether Mr Netanyahu tried to offer business advantages to the publisher of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper in return for more favourable coverage. Detectives believe that Mr Harow may be able to offer information in both investigations, according to Israels Channel 2. The prime minister has been questioned by police several times over the investigations. Mr Netanyahu has not been charged with any crime and denies any wrongdoing. He has repeatedly insisted that the probes will lead to nothing. The prime ministers allies sees the constant stream of leaks over the police investigation as part of a political effort to weaken him.

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August 3, 2017   Posted in: Benjamin Netanyahu  Comments Closed


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