Binyamin Netanyahu 'took bribes from Israeli media giant'

03 December, 2018, 00:35 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Israel Police Recommend Indicting Benjamin Netanyahu In Corruption Probe

Israeli police on Sunday recommended indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara for bribery and other offences, the third such recommendation against the premier in recent months.

On Sunday, the Israeli police and the Israel Securities Authorities said there was sufficient evidence for bribery, fraud and breach-of-trust charges to be brought against Mr Netanyahu and his wife.

The authorities allege Mr Netanyahu awarded regulatory favours to Bezeq Telecom Israel in return for more positive coverage of him and his wife on a news website, Walla, owned by the company.

He is already considering whether to charge Mr Netenyahu in two other cases, one relating to allegations the politician accepted presents from businessmen.

The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the accusations as a witch hunt orchestrated by the media.

"These recommendations were decided upon and leaked even before the investigation began".

Mr Netanyahu held the government's communications portfolio until a year ago and oversaw regulation in the field.

Mr Netanyahu is accused of seeking favourable coverage from another Elovitch company, the Walla news site, in exchange for policies that could have benefited the mogul's business interests.


Police say the investigation, which included the testimony of 60 witnesses, revealed that Netanyahu and Bezeq boss Shaul Elovitch engaged in a "bribe-based relationship".

Police are also recommending charges be brought against Elovitch and members of his family.

The head of the opposition Labour party, Mr Avi Gabbay, renewed his call for Mr Netanyahu to resign after the latest recommendations were released.

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. Netanyahu now leads a coalition with a razor-thin 61 seat majority in the 120-seat parliament.

The appointment of Alsheikh's potential successor is being held up after a government-appointed committee rejected his candidacy, and Netanyahu has repeatedly criticized the police as the investigations into his behavior have mounted.

A week later, his wife was indicted for allegedly misusing a total of 350,000 shekels (around US$96,000) in official funds to order extravagant meals at their official residence in Jerusalem between 2010 and 2013.

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

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