The Case Against Netanyahu: Don't Expect Indictments Before 5759

15 February, 2018, 01:58 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Zionist Union party Avi Gabbay seen during a faction meeting at the Israeli parliament

A police statement on Tuesday said there was enough evidence to indict him for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two separate cases.

In a televised address, a stern-looking Mr Netanyahu said the recommendations against him were baseless and that he would "continue to lead Israel responsibly and faithfully". "Neither me nor anyone else has plans for elections".

Bennett said he is confident that Netanyahu did nothing to intentionally harm Israel's security or economic well being, but criticized the prime minister for not being a good public role model.

The police recommendations now go to Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit, who will review the material before deciding whether to file charges.

"It is a sad day for every citizen when an Israeli prime minister is accused of serious criminal offences", Lapid said in his statement.

Ahead of the police recommendations, there was speculation Netanyahu could call for early elections as part of a bid to get a public mandate and perhaps force a prosecutor to think twice before pressing charges.

Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett, reporting from West Jerusalem, said Netanyahu's political future now rested on how his political allies responded.

Netanyahu has claimed to be a victim of an overaggressive police force and a media witch hunt that has also targeted his family.

Benjamin Netanyahu's lawyer, Amit Hadad, says police recommendations of corruption charges against the prime minister are based on "false" statements.

"The truth will come to light and nothing will come of this".

Police say that in that in return for lavish gifts that included jewelry, expensive cigars and champagne, Netanyahu had operated on Milchan's behalf on US visa matters, tried to legislate a generous tax break for him and sought to promote his interests in the Israeli media market.

In news that sent shockwaves through the political system, it emerged that Yair Lapid, leader of the opposition Yesh Atid party, had given evidence about Mr Netanyahu's efforts to benefit Mr Milchan that he saw during his term as finance minister.

Key members of Netanyahu's Likud Party pointed to this as proof that the investigation was politically motivated and Amsalem angrily called Lapid a "snitch". It was handled by the Finance Ministry", which was run by Lapid in Netanyahu's previous government, "and was supported by then-State Attorney Yaakov Ne'eman, and many ministers who saw it as a way to increase investments in Israel.

Hadad says Netanyahu "didn't receive bribes at all". Netanyahu was Prime Minister of Israel from 1996 to 1999 and resumed his post in 2009.

Police said that both Milchan and Mozes could be charged with bribery.

"Now that the police have completed their work, they should keep their distance, stop the leaks, and enable the process to continue to its resolution", said columnist Chaim Schein.

Ilan Gilon, of the left-wing Meretz party, said the prime minister's resignation was the only measure that would restore the public's trust in the government. The police are probing "bribery, fraud and breach of trust by the prime minister".

The other case, 2000, concerns the publisher of a leading Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, whereby Netanyahu, in secret talks, allegedly requested positive coverage in exchange for damaging a competitor, the pro-Netanyahu freesheet Israel Hayom.



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