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World - Middle East

Police search Netanyahu's apartment, seize 'dozens' of valuables

The search of Netanyahu's apartment lasted six hours and resulted in the seizure of numerous items  

October 20, 1999
Web posted at: 3:58 p.m. EDT (1958 GMT)

From Correspondent Jerrold Kessel

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli police searched the Jerusalem apartment of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday, seizing "dozens" of items police say he received in his official capacity and may have illegally kept.

After a search lasting some six hours, a police spokeswoman said, "Dozens of expensive items included paintings, silver and gold objects which were being held against the law were seized."

Netanyahu's office and a storeroom were also searched in what is an unprecedented move involving a former Israeli prime minister.

When Netanyahu was asked by a reporter how he felt about the search his only comment was "how would you feel?".

His wife Sara was in the apartment during the search and Netanyahu arrived later while police were still there several hours later.

Last month the Netanyahus were questioned at length by the police fraud division about allegations arising out of a bill for the equivalent of $110,000 submitted by a haulage contractor for work he did for the Netanyahus.

Police said information developed during that investigation led to Wednesday's search and seizure.

There are suspicions that the work by the haulage contractor constituted a bribe since the contractor was not paid for the work done.

When Netanyahu lost the May election the contractor submitted the bill.

Several formal officials serving under Netanyahu have also been questioned.

But so far, no formal charges have been brought in the matter.

Netanyahu says he'll be cleared in fraud investigation
September 16, 1999
Netanyahu, wife questioned in fraud investigation
September 15, 1999
Israel hands over more West Bank land to Palestinians
September 10, 1999
Israel: Explosions won't derail renewed peace process
September 5, 1999
Israelis, Palestinians break deadlock on Wye River accord
September 4, 1999

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