Israeli Police Urge Corruption Charges for Netanyahu

Israel Police Recommend Indicting Benjamin Netanyahu In Corruption Probe

Police recommend Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted for bribery

Israeli police said on Sunday that there is enough evidence to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a third corruption investigation.

Authorities on Sunday alleged Netanyahu awarded regulatory favours to Bezeq, Israel's largest telecommunications group, in return for more positive coverage of him and his wife on Bezeq's subsidiary news website, Walla.

Police in February recommended indicting Mr Netanyahu in two other corruption investigations.

Israeli media say the 69-year-old prime minister has been questioned by investigators a number of times.

Netanyahu has denied all charges of corruption, claiming "these recommendations were determined and leaked even before the investigations began".

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.

Two senior advisers have turned state witnesses and have allegedly provided authorities with incriminating evidence.

The police also recommended that charges of fraud and breach of trust be brought against Netanyahu and his wife.

The police also said there was sufficient evidence to indict Mr Elovitch for giving bribes.

"The prime minister has no moral mandate to keep his seat and must resign today", said Tamar Zandberg, who leads the leftwing Meretz party.

"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. 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.

Mr Netanyahu rejected the allegations in what is known as Case 4000.

Netanyahu's colleagues in the ruling Likud party have lined up behind up, attacking outgoing Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh for releasing the recommendation on his last day on the job. Netanyahu's coalition now enjoys only the slimmest of parliamentary majorities.

Israel must hold its next election by November 2019. Reports have surfaced of Sara Netanyahu relaying requests to Bezeq officials.

Sara Netanyahu has long faced allegations of extravagant living and abusive behaviour. 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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