Israel Police Recommend Indicting Benjamin Netanyahu In Corruption Probe

Sara and Benjamin Netahyahu face bribery indictment

Sara and Benjamin Netahyahu face bribery indictment

Israel's opposition leader has called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to step down after the Israeli police recommended indicting him and his wife, Sara, for bribery and other corruption charges.

Responding to the latest allegations, Mr Netanyahu tweeted: "These recommendations were determined and leaked even before the investigations began".

"I am sure that in this case, too, the relevant authorities, after examining things, will arrive at the same conclusion - there was nothing because there is nothing", he said.

In a joint statement from Israel's police and the Israel securities authority, police said they also found sufficient evidence to charge Mr Netanyahu's family friend, Shaul Elovitch, with bribery.

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.

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The prime minister has argued that he is the victim of a left-wing and media conspiracy to topple his conservative government.

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".

Netanyahu served as communications minister from 2015 to 2017.

Despite his dominance of Israeli politics, the newest police recommendation comes just after his right-wing coalition's majority was reduced to a precarious one seat in Parliament.

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

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Denying the charges today, Netanyahu said: "There was nothing because there is nothing".

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be charged with bribery and fraud, police have said.

In one, allegations against Netanyahu include seeking a secret deal with the publisher of Israel's top-selling newspaper Yediot Aharonot to ensure positive coverage in return for pushing forward a law that would have limited the circulation of a rival.

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.

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

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The prime minister has been repeatedly questioned by police in the three corruption investigations.

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