Israeli Police Say Netanyahu Took Bribes in Bezeq Case, Too
- Author: Jon Douglas Dec 03, 2018,
Dec 03, 2018, 9:51
"I am sure that also in this case the relevant authorities, after examining the matter, will reach the same conclusion - that there was nothing because there is nothing", he said.
The final decision on whether to indict rests with Israel's attorney-general, who is still weighing whether to charge Netanyahu in the other two cases.
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.
The Israeli prime minister, however, dismissed the accusations against himself and his wife, saying the recommendations had already been determined "even before the investigations began".
In one, allegations against Netanyahu include seeking a secret deal with the publisher of Israel's top-selling newspaper Yediot Aharonot to ensure positive coverage in return for pushing forward a law that would have limited the circulation of a rival.
The police also recommended that charges of fraud and breach of trust be brought against Netanyahu and his wife.
In the two other cases where the police have recommended indictments, Netanyahu is also suspected of receiving bribes in exchange for favours.
Mr Netanyahu heads a fragile coalition, but he appears confident the allegations will not spur early elections.
"Police recommendations have no legal status", he said in a statement.
The Bezeq case, known as Case 4000, is the most serious of all those of which Netanyahu has been accused.
Elections are now scheduled for November 2019. "If there is an election first and Netanyahu wins with everyone knowing about his legal issues, then he can say that despite knowledge of the legal battles, the people still want him".
It's up to the attorney general whether to indict.
Prosecutors say Sara Netanyahu used state money to pay for $100,000 worth of meals at the prime minister's residence.
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.
The police's recommendation has triggered calls for Netanyahu to resign immediately. The statement recommending charges against Netanyahu in the case were published on the last day in office for Commissioner Roni Alsheich, who is stepping down after a three-year term.