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Israel PM should be indicted for corruption: Police

December 2, 2018

Authorities said they have sufficient evidence to show the Israeli premier accepted bribes and committed fraud. But he has rejected the allegations as a plot brought on by political enemies.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Image: AFP/Getty Images/J. Hollander

Israeli police on Sunday recommended Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted in a corruption case involving the country's telecommunications giant Bezeq.

Police said they have enough evidence to show Netanyahu and his wife Sara accepted bribes and committed fraud and breach of trust.

What we know so far:

  • Netanyahu is accused of pushing regulatory benefits worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Bezeq in exchange for positive coverage from subsidiary news site Walla.
  • Two senior advisers have turned state witnesses and have allegedly provided authorities with incriminating evidence.
  • Journalists who previously worked for Walla have confirmed that they were pressured into solely covering Netanyahu in a positive light.
  • Netanyahu has rejected the allegations, saying: "These recommendations were determined and leaked even before the investigations began." He has described the probes as a political witch hunt.
Sara Netanyahu
Sara Netanyahu, the premier's wife, is already facing trial on suspicion of misusing state fundsImage: Reuters/A. Cohen

'No moral mandate'

The police's recommendation has triggered calls for Netanyahu to resign immediately.

"The prime minister has no moral mandate to keep his seat and must resign today," said Tamar Zandberg, who leads the leftwing Meretz party. "Israel must go to elections."

This is the third corruption probe in which police have recommended charges against the prime minister. His wife already faces trial in a separate case for allegedly misusing state funds.

Read more: Is Israel heading for early elections?

What happens next?

Israel's attorney general will decide whether to go forward with charges.

Read more: What links Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption probe and ThyssenKrupp?

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ls/jlw (AP, AFP, dpa)

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