Binyamin Netanyahu 'took bribes from Israeli media giant'
03 December, 2018, 09:51 | Author: Essie Rivera
The Israeli Prime Minister is accused of interfering in regulatory decisions in favour of the Bezeq group and it's chief shareholder Shaul Elovitch - in exchange for favorable reporting on the Walla news website.
Police have already said there is enough evidence to indict Netanyahu on charges of fraud, bribery, and breach of trust in two separate cases.
Mr Netanyahu immediately rejected the accusations, but the three cases against him have led to speculation that they could eventually force the long-serving prime minister to step down.
Mr Netanyahu denied the bribery allegations against him and his wife. In exchange, Bezeq's news subsidiary, Walla, gave the prime minister sympathetic treatment, police allege.
Denying the charges today, Netanyahu said: "There was nothing because there is nothing".
The police also said there was sufficient evidence to indict Mr Elovitch for giving bribes.
Israel's attorney general will decide whether to go forward with charges.
Mr Netanyahu heads a fragile coalition, but he appears confident the allegations will not spur early elections.
"The police recommendations regarding me and my wife don't surprise anyone", Mr Netanyahu said in a statement.
The Bezeq case, known as Case 4000, is the most serious of all those of which Netanyahu has been accused.
The police recommendations are non-binding.
Elections are now scheduled for November 2019.
The decision to indict the Prime Minister can only be made by the Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, who will now review the findings of the police investigation. Netanyahu holds a solid lead in all opinion polls, and a victory would make it more hard for Mandelblit to indict and potentially force out a newly re-elected leader.
Two senior advisers have turned state witnesses and have allegedly provided authorities with incriminating evidence.
Despite the ongoing criminal investigations, which began a year and a half ago, Netanyahu has held on to the support of his Likud party and his coalition. In return, the police said, Mr. Netanyahu, who personally oversaw the communications ministry from 2014 to 2017, rewarded Bezeq with enormously lucrative concessions, including approval of its merger with Yes, a satellite television company, despite the objections of lower-level ministry officials.
Following the latest statement from police on Sunday, opposition politicians once again called on Netanyahu to resign.
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