Finnish-Israeli-British billionaire Poju Zabludowicz was questioned recently by Israeli police in connection with the ongoing corruption investigation into the affairs of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The London-based Mr Zabludowicz has extensive business interests in Israel including hotels and a stake in the national airline El Al.
He has also been mentioned as one of the wealthy businesspeople suspected of giving expensive gifts to Mr Netanyahu and his wife.
While the main focus of the police so far has been on gifts given by Israeli Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, they have had difficulties making a case based on his testimony alone and police are now looking at the prime minister’s relationship with other wealthy friends.
In addition to Mr Zabludowicz, other possible witnesses include Australian businessman James Packer, who owns a villa near the Netanyahus’ weekend home in Caesarea, and the president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder.
Mr Zabludowicz also owns a property in Caesarea where Mr Netanayhu stayed during his first term as prime minister in the late 1990s.
Mr Zabludowicz, who is a major donor to Jewish organisations and to Middle East think tank Bicom, has been mentioned in the past as a donor to Mr Netanyahu’s political campaigns.
In a comment to Channel Two, which first reported the fact he had been questioned, Mr Zabludowicz confirmed that he had « voluntarily » spoken with the police and claimed that he is not a suspect in the case.