Israel Police Recommend Indicting Benjamin Netanyahu In Corruption Probe

Israel Police Recommend Indicting Benjamin Netanyahu In Corruption Probe

Police say their investigation has established an evidentiary foundation to charge Netanyahu and his wife Sara with accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust.

The Israeli Prime Minister is accused of interfering in regulatory decisions in favour of the Bezeq group and it's chief shareholder Shaul Elovitch - in exchange for favorable reporting on the Walla news website.

Authorities allege Netanyahu awarded regulatory favors to Israel's leading telecommunications company, Bezeq Telecom Israel (BEZQ.TA), in return for more positive coverage of him and his wife on a news website, Walla, owned by the company.

Police have already said there is enough evidence to indict Netanyahu on charges of fraud, bribery, and breach of trust in two separate cases.

While Netanyahu was questioned as a witness and not a suspect in the submarine case, the accusations against his lawyer and others in the investigation have only added to the pressure the prime minister is facing.

The investigations never came close to connecting Netanyahu and Elovitch, but the overreaction by the two sides and the alleged efforts at obstruction would produce the paper trail that gave police the leverage to convince both Yeshua and Hefetz, as well as other officials, to turn state's witnesses, bringing their testimony and mountains of evidence - including Yeshua's written testimony from December 28, 2016, as well as his phone - into investigators' hands.

Netanyahu, for his part, denies wrongdoing.

Prosecutors say Sara Netanyahu used state money to pay for $100,000 worth of meals at the prime minister's residence.

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. The country's attorney general is now expected to decide the next step. "Only recently, police recommendations in cases against other public figures were rejected by the relevant authorities".

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

In a statement on Sunday, the Israeli leader said that the allegations had no legal basis.

Meanwhile, head of the Labor Party Avi Gabbay, who also leads the center-left political alliance of Zionist Union, echoed Livni's call.

"He'll send a message to the attorney general that everyone knew about these three police reports and they still voted for him and want him in power", Hazan said. "The people of Israel deserve clean leadership". Netanyahu held the government's communications portfolio until a year ago and oversaw regulation in the field.

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