Israeli police recommend to indict Netanyahu in bribery cases

Benjamin Netanyahu

A petition filed by attorney Yossi Fuchs sought to have the court examine the process whereby police transfer case files to the State Attorney's office alongside a recommendation on whether to lay charges.

During his tenure as prime minister, some 15 investigations have been opened against Netanyahu to "topple me from power", he said.

The police publicized their formal recommendation just before 9:00PM Israel time. "All of those attempts resulted in nothing, and this time again they will come to nothing".

ISRAEL'S attorney general has asked police to delay issuing their recommendations into corruption allegations against prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to a police report published late Tuesday, authorities found evidence of "accepting bribes, fraud, and breach of trust".

Speaking on a live feed, ironically on Yediot Acharonot's website, a stern-looking Netanyahu denied allegations that he accepted lavish gifts, including champagne and expensive cigars, from Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan in exchange for doing favors.

In all, the merchandise was worth more than one million shekels ($280,000), the statement said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a business conference in Jerusalem on January 11.

The police are also recommended that Mozes be indicted for bribery in the alleged deal between him and Netanyahu.

Police also recommended that Milchan face bribery charges. At their first news conference together, Netanyahu said of Trump, "There is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state".

"Our government will finish its term", added Netanyahu.

But Tuesday's report is deeply embarrassing to Netanyahu and could fuel calls for him to step aside.

In comments translated by The Jerusalem Post, the Israeli PM said: "All I did was for the benefit of the state of Israel".

The police said there was sufficient evidence to charge both Milchan and Mozes with bribery, along with Netanyahu.

Police said they had questioned some 80 witnesses. Now Netanyahu's discomfort has become real legal peril.

He has already faced a series of large protests in Tel Aviv over the corruption cases.

Within minutes of Raffel releasing his statement, Netanyahu's office sent a message to Israeli reporters that did not quite walk back his earlier remarks, but that noted that President Donald Trump remained committed to reviving the peace talks.

Israel has not shied away from pursuing criminal cases against top politicians. The reports of corruption against Benjamin Netanyahu, comes nearly after the leader had severed more than a decade in the Prime Minister's office. He was freed from prison in July after being granted parole from a 27-month sentence.



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