JERUSALEM (JTA) – Jewish billionaire philanthropist Sheldon Adelson and his wife will testify in Israel in a corruption investigation into Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israel’s Channel 2 news first reported Sunday evening that the Adelsons will testify next week during their visit to Israel.
The couple is arriving in Israel ahead of the visit by U.S. President Donald Trump on May 22-23, and will remain for a few days afterward, at which time they will testify. Adelson and his wife, Miriam, agreed to testify in the investigation into the so-called Case 2000 after being assured that they were not suspected of wrongdoing.
Adelson, a casino magnate, is the owner of the pro-Netanyahu daily newspaper Israel Hayom, which is distributed for free. Part of the case includes accusations that Netanyahu and Arnon Mozes, publisher of the daily Yediot Acharanot, discussed a deal in which Netanyahu would receive favorable coverage in Yediot in exchange for legislation that would cut into the circulation of Adelson’s paper.
Channel 2 reported that investigators will ask the Adelsons if they were aware of the deal. Miriam Adelson reportedly deals with the couple’s Israeli affairs. The couple is considered to be close friends of the Netanyahus.
Sheldon Adelson, a major giver to Republican candidates, endorsed Trump when it was clear the reality TV star and real estate magnate would be the party’s nominee. He subsequently donated tens of millions of dollars to the Trump election campaign, and later gave a record $5 million to fund inauguration celebrations.