Published: Mon, December 03, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Israeli police recommend Netanyahu and his wife be charged with corruption

Israeli police recommend Netanyahu and his wife be charged with corruption

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

In the findings announced Sunday, police said there was evidence to charge Mr Netanyahu with bribery, fraud, breach of trust and unlawful acceptance.

"The police recommendations regarding me and my wife don't surprise anyone", Netanyahu said in a statement.

Netanyahu argued there was nothing suspicious or illegal with him being in contact with major media outlets owners after police recommended indictment for bribery over allegations that he pushed regulations benefiting Bezeq telecoms in exchange for positive coverage from its Walla news site.

In February, police recommended indicting Mr Netanyahu in two other corruption investigations.

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

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.

Israel’s opposition leader Tzipi Livni
Israel’s opposition leader Tzipi Livni

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

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

He argued in a statement that "these recommendations were determined and leaked even before the investigations began". But his fate now lies in the hands of his attorney general, who will decide in the coming months whether the prime minister should stand trial on a host of corruption allegations that could play a central role in next year's election campaign.

From 2012 to 2017 the prime minister and his associates "blatantly intervened" on a near-daily basis in the Walla news site, using the connections with Elovitch to influence appointments there and to promote flattering articles and pictures while quelling critical stories of the prime minister and his family, police said.

Other opposition figures, including opposition leader Tzipi Livni, quickly joined in the call for Netanyahu to resign.

That act launched what is today known as Case 4000. The people of Israel deserve a clean leadership.

It's up to the attorney general whether to indict. Netanyahu held the government's communications portfolio until previous year and oversaw regulation in the field.

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