Israeli police arrested a number of suspects connected to a major communication company on Sunday, in what media said was a new corruption probe linked to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The suspects included “senior figures” in the Bezeq communications group who were detained as part of a new joint investigation including the Israel Securities Authority, a police statement said without giving more details.
Israeli media said they were suspected of having been involved in an affair in which Bezeq received concessions, in return for which Netanyahu received positive coverage on the Bezeq-affiliated news website Walla.
The arrests came just days after police said there were grounds to indict Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of public trust, in the biggest challenge yet to the right-wing premier’s long tenure in power.
Netanyahu has repeatedly denied the allegations, which he says are politically motivated, and has rejected calls to step down.
Police believe Netanyahu sought a secret deal for favorable coverage with the publisher of top-selling newspaper Yediot Aharonot, whose publisher Arnon Moses could also face bribery charges.
The attorney general must now decide how to move forward with the police recommendations, a process that could take months.