m3n4.net
m3n4.net December 13, 2018


Israeli Police Say Netanyahu Took Bribes in Bezeq Case, Too

03 December 2018, 09:51 | Tara Lloyd

Israel Police Recommend Indicting Benjamin Netanyahu In Corruption Probe

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv

"I'm sure that in this case the relevant authorities, after examining the issue, will reach the same conclusion: that there was nothing because there is nothing", he said in a statement.

Police have already recommended indicting Mr Netanyahu on corruption charges in two other cases, one involving accepting gifts from billionaire friends, and the second revolving around alleged offers of advantageous legislation for a newspaper in return for positive coverage.

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 denies any wrongdoing and claims he is the victim of a media witch hunt.

Netanyahu denied the latest allegations. In exchange, they believe Netanyahu used his connections with Elovitch to receive positive press coverage on Bezeq's popular news site Walla.

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There was, however, insufficient evidence to charge Mr Netanyanu's son Yair, police said.

Police are also recommending charges be brought against Elovitch and members of his family. It's now up to the State Prosecutor's Office to decide whether charges will be filed.

In coming months, the PM could find himself in the throes of early national elections after the departure last month of a key coalition partner left his Government teetering on the edge.

A spokesman for Mr Netanyahu said there was no legal basis for the police recommendations and that ultimately nothing would come of the investigation. "The police recommendations have no legal standing".

The next legislative poll is scheduled for November 2019.

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Elovitch's wife, Iris, and Netanyahu's wife, Sara, were also implicated in the case, known as Case 4000.

"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.

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

In a joint statement with the Israel Securities Authority, police said they had also found sufficient evidence to charge Bezeq's controlling shareholder with bribery as well as other officials at the company.

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. Israeli law is unclear about whether an indicted prime minister would have to step down.

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