Israeli Police recommend bribery charges against Netanyahu & wife

03 December, 2018, 00:34 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a ceremony awarding people who contributed in the fight against human trafficking in Jerusalem

Separately, police said earlier this month there was evidence to charge a Netanyahu lawyer and others with bribery in a corruption probe related to Israel's purchase of German submarines.

The police said Mr. Netanyahu and his associates sought to sway Walla's hiring of senior editors and reporters.

Netanyahu accused investigators and the Israeli news outlets for specifically singling him out.

A statement issued on Sunday says that Netanyahu is suspected of accepting bribes in exchange for policy decisions that favored Shaul Elovitch, a media mogul that controlled Israel's largest telecom firm, Bezeq, and the Walla News website.

The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the accusations as a witch hunt orchestrated by the media.

At the time Elovitch was chairman and controlling shareholder of Bezeq.

The second case, called Case 2000, involves conversations Netanyahu had with Arnon Mozes, the owner of one of Israel's leading newspapers, Yedioth Ahronoth, which is regularly critical of the Prime Minister. Israeli law is unclear about whether an indicted prime minister would have to step down.

The head of the opposition Labour party, Mr Avi Gabbay, renewed his call for Mr Netanyahu to resign after the latest recommendations were released.

Police said Sunday their investigation found that between 2012 and 2017, "the prime minister and his confidantes crudely and consistently, at times on a daily basis, intervened in the content published by the Walla news website".

Earlier this year, investigators also recommended that Netanyahu be tried for allegedly taking almost $300,000 worth of gifts including expensive cigars and champagne from wealthy friends including Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer.

Netanyahu has also said he's innocent in those cases.

She has already been charged with fraud and breach of trust for allegedly overspending roughly $100,000 on private meals at the prime minister's official residence, even as there was a full-time chef on staff.

"A prime minister with so many criminal cases around him can not continue in his job and must resign", said Avi Gabbay, the head of the Labor party.

While it is now up to Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit to formally prosecute those involved, the announcement ramps up pressure on Netanyahu, who faces a raft of legal woes. "There was no fraud, no breach of trust or any other felony".

It's up to the attorney general whether to indict.

Despite the ongoing criminal investigations, which began a year and a half ago, Netanyahu has held on to the support of his Likud party and his coalition.

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