Netanyahu aide 'to testify against him'

A close confidant of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu will testify against him, according to reports.
A close confidant of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu will testify against him, according to reports.

One of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's closest confidants has turned state witness and will incriminate him in corruption allegations, media reports say.

Police would not confirm whether long-time aide Shlomo Filber would testify against Netanyahu, but all the major Israeli media outlets said a deal to do so had been reached.

Filber, the former director of the Communications Ministry under Netanyahu, is under arrest on suspicion of promoting regulation worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Israel's Bezeq telecom company. In return, Bezeq's popular news site, Walla, allegedly provided favourable coverage of Netanyahu and his family.

The reports came shortly after another bombshell allegation that a different longtime confidant attempted to bribe a judge in exchange for dropping a corruption case against Netanyahu's wife.

The prime minister, who held the communications portfolio until last year, has not yet been named a suspect, though he may soon be questioned. He has denied all the charges, calling them part of a media witch-hunt, and has vowed to carry on.

In a separate thread to the case, police said Nir Hefetz, a media adviser to the Netanyahu family, is suspected of offering to promote a public official's candidacy for attorney-general in exchange for the promise of closing a criminal probe.

Israeli media reports, which police declined to confirm, say Hefetz sought to promote a judge to attorney general if the judge agreed to close a criminal investigation against Netanyahu's wife, Sara.

Australian Associated Press