Israel's Netanyahu should be indicted for corruption, police say

Israel's Netanyahu should be indicted for corruption, police say

Israel's Netanyahu should be indicted for corruption, police say

Israeli police on Sunday said they had found enough evidence for bribery and fraud charges to be brought against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife in a third corruption case against the Israeli leader.

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.

In response to the police statement, Netanyahu said, "The police recommendations against me and my wife do not surprise anyone".

In this long-running scandal, Mr Netanyahu is suspected of passing regulations favouring the Bezeq telecommunications firm in exchange for favourable coverage on the Walla news website, which is owned by Bezeq's controlling shareholder.

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 argued that he is the victim of a left-wing and media conspiracy to topple his conservative government. Hefetz reportedly gave the police text messages and incriminating recordings indicating a quid pro quo relationship between Netanyahu and Bezeq Group.

Netanyahu has been prime minister for a total of more than 12 years, from 1996 to 1999 and again since 2009.

In return, Bezeq's subsidiary news site, Walla, allegedly provided positive Netanyahu coverage.

Israel's attorney general Avichai Mandelblit will make the final decision as to whether to indict the prime minister.

Shortly after the police recommendations were made public, Netanyahu issued a statement saying that the allegations had no legal basis and that ultimately nothing would come of the investigation.

Police recommended that Bezeq's former chairman, Shaul Elovitch, who was forced to step down earlier this year, stand trial for giving bribes. Mr Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing.

They recommended Sara Netanyahu face charges of bribery, fraud, breach of trust and obstruction of evidence.

In the second case, Mr Netanyahu is suspected of receiving gifts worth at least a million shekels ($270,000; £210,000) from Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan and other supporters. In June, Bibi was questioned by investigators about possible graft and corruption that led to the purchase of three Dolphin-class submarines and four Sa'ar 6-class corvettes from German shipbuilding company ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

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