Israeli police recommend indicting PM Benjamin Netanyahu on bribery charges

Israel Police Recommend Indicting Benjamin Netanyahu In Corruption Probe

According to a police statement, authorities found evidence of fraud, bribery, and breach of trust.

Mr Netanyahu denied the bribery allegations against him and his wife.

The case revolves around suspicions that confidants of Mr Netanyahu promoted regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Bezeq telecom company in exchange for positive coverage of the Prime Minister on Bezeq's news website, Walla.

Mr Netanyahu immediately rejected the accusations, but the three cases against him have led to speculation that they could eventually force the long-serving prime minister to step down.

Those relate to allegations that Netanyahu accepted gifts from businessmen and that he tried to strike a deal with a different media mogul for better coverage in return for curbs on a competing newspaper.

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Journalists who previously worked for Walla have confirmed that they were pressured into exclusively covering Netanyahu in a positive light.

Mr Netanyahu did not mention the allegations in his comments at the start of a cabinet meeting later in the day.

Police are also recommending charges be brought against Elovitch and members of his family. Netanyahu, who just two weeks ago brought his coalition from the brink of collapse after a junior partner bolted, denied any wrongdoing.

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.

They are suspected of interfering in regulatory decisions that favoured Bezeq and its majority shareholder Shaul Elovitch.

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He is also suspected of negotiating favorable press coverage with the Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes in Case 2000.

Other opposition parties quickly joined in the call for Mr Netanyahu to resign.

They recommended Sara Netanyahu face charges of bribery, fraud, breach of trust and obstruction of evidence.

"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.

The decision to indict the Prime Minister can only be made by the Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, who will now review the findings of the police investigation.

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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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