Published: Mon, December 03, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Israeli police recommend indicting PM Netanyahu for bribery in telecom case

Israeli police recommend indicting PM Netanyahu for bribery in telecom case

They are suspected of awarding regulatory favours to the Bezeq telecom firm in return for positive media coverage of the couple.

Elovitch's wife, Iris, and Netanyahu's wife, Sara, were also implicated in the case, known as Case 4000.

The Israeli attorney-general will now have to decide whether to bring charges in the case.

Netanyahu last month was almost forced to call elections after a key partner withdrew from his coalition to protest a cease-fire with the Hamas militant group in Gaza.

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

In a statement, police said the investigation concluded that Netanyahu and Elovitch engaged in a "bribe-based relationship".

"These recommendations were determined and leaked even before the investigations began", he said.

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.

"I am certain that the authorized officials, after considering the matters, will reach the same conclusion in this case as well - that there was nothing because there is nothing", Netanyahu further said on Sunday.

The decision on whether to charge Mr Netanyahu rests with Israel's attorney-general, who is still weighing whether to indict Mr Netanyahu in the other two cases. Now he appears to be facing the challenge of both - legal charges and an election.

However, he may want to seek a renewed mandate from the people to force a prosecutor to think twice before indicting him.

Israeli investigators said they had amassed more evidence that the prime minister traded influence for favors, this time in a case involving the country's largest telecommunications carrier. In exchange, Elovitch instructed journalists at the news website Walla! to provide favourable coverage of the prime minister and his wife.

Opposition lawmakers called on Netanyahu to resign. The White House is trying to build a coalition of Middle Eastern leaders to deter Iran, to that end encouraging the warming of relations between Israel and Arab states that outwardly shun it and sidelining the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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

Netanyahu is suspected of having received luxury gifts from businessmen overseas in Case 1000.

The other case, 2000, involves deals made between Netanyahu and Arnon Mozes, publisher of the popular Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem November 25, 2018. Indictments were recommended, however, against some of the Prime Minister's close associates, including his cousin and lawyer David Shimron.

Like this: