Israeli PM Netanyahu should be charged with bribery

Israeli PM Netanyahu should be charged with bribery

Israeli PM Netanyahu should be charged with bribery

Israeli police recommend indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara on bribery charges involving Israel's telecom giant.

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

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.

"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.

Despite his dominance of Israeli politics, the newest police recommendation comes just after his right-wing coalition's majority was reduced to a precarious one seat in parliament.

The prime minister has argued that he is the victim of a left-wing and media conspiracy to topple his conservative government.

Former journalists at the Walla news site have attested to being pressured to refrain from negative reporting of Mr Netanyahu.

Police said they have established an evidentiary foundation to charge the pair with accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust.

Two of his top confidants have turned state witnesses and are believed to have provided police with incriminating evidence.

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.

The investigation, known as Case 4000, followed suspicions that Netanyahu during his term as the communications minister from 2014 to 2017 intervened with regulators to help the Bezeq Group, which is controlled by businessman Shaul Elovitch.

In the conversations, which became public through transcripts leaked in Israeli media, Netanyahu allegedly discusses limiting the circulation of Yedioth Ahronot's biggest competition in favor of more favorable coverage. The country's attorney general is now expected to decide the next step.

Police are also recommending that charges be brought against Netanyahu's wife, Sara, who has been at the centre of much of the corruption allegations surrounding the longtime Israeli leader.

Other opposition parties quickly joined in the call for Mr Netanyahu to resign. Other former employees have accused her of mistreatment, charges the Netanyahus have vehemently denied, and of excessive spending and charging the state for her private, expensive tastes.

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