Police name Netanyahu associates in Israeli corruption probe

ERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli police have named the two close associates of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrested for their suspected role in a wide-ranging corruption probe.

With a gag order lifted Tuesday, police identified them as Nir Hefetz, a former Netanyahu spokesman, and Shlomo Filber, the former director of the communications ministry under Netanyahu.

The two are suspected of promoting regulation worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Israel’s Bezeq telecom company in return for favorable coverage of Netanyahu in a highly popular subsidiary news site. Netanyahu has not yet been named as a suspect in the case.

Bezeq Chairman Shaul Elovitch is also in custody, along with his wife, son and other Bezeq executives. Former journalists at the site have attested to being pressured to refrain from negative reporting of Netanyahu.