A recording has emerged of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposing commercial favors to an Israeli newspaper owner in return for positive coverage.
In a report aired by Israel’s Channel Two television station on Sunday, there is a recording of Netanyahu allegedly offering a commercially beneficial deal to the owner of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Arnon Mozes.
The report claimed that Netanyahu had said he would reduce the circulation of the pro-Netanyahu newspaper, Israel Hayom, if Mozes’ paper took a more favorable stance towards him. A drop in the circulation of Hayom would be a direct benefit to Mozes as it is his main rival in advertising revenues.
The report suggested that the recording was made a few months ago although the exact date is unknown. It also noted that Mozes made the recording.
Netanyahu is already under investigation over alleged corruption charges related to receiving illegal donations and gifts.
He is also under investigation over suspicions that he accepted one million euros (about 1.1 million dollars) from French fraudster Arnaud Mimran for campaign funds during the 2009 Israeli elections.
There are also calls for Netanyahu to be investigated for his role in a billion-dollar deal to purchase three submarines from German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems GmbH.
The Netanyahu family has faced scrutiny over accusations that their lifestyles are out of touch with regular Israelis. Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, has also come under fire for her lavish tastes and abusive behavior toward staff members.