Yediot Ahronot publisher Arnon Mozes and Zionist Union MK Eitan Cabel were questioned at the Lahav 433 Serious Crimes Unit on Thursday as part of an ongoing investigation into Case 2000.
The case involves a corruption probe investigating claims that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to take steps to cut the circulation of the Israel Hayom daily in exchange for favorable coverage of him by Yediot.
Tapes obtained by police in a separate investigation into former Netanyahu aide Ari Harrow that were later leaked to Channel 2 TV indicate the prime minister negotiated with his arch-foe Mozes to change Yediot’s editorial line to favor the prime minister. In exchange, he allegedly would either spearhead legislation, or intervene with Israel Hayom owner, casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, to curtail the circulation of the free daily paper.
The free sheet newspaper has eaten into Yediot’s circulation figures, pushing the leftist veteran daily off the top of the exposure charts, and leading to a slump in advertising revenues.
Despite the existence of the recordings, Netanyahu denies that he actually intended to cut a deal with Mozes, and claims that he was actually trying to incriminate him.
In 2014, Cabel sponsored the so-called Israel Hayom bill, curbing free distribution of newspapers, a bill that Netanyahu vehemently opposed at the time. Police suspect that Cabel may have coordinated the move with Mozes.