Feb 14, 2018, 3:17 AM ET

Israeli police recommend charging Netanyahu in corruption cases

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Israeli police on Tuesday recommended charging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in two corruption cases, a move that could lead to the first indictments after months of investigations focusing on the prime minister and his family.

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Israeli police said in a statement they had "sufficient evidence" against the prime minister in both cases "for the offense of accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust."

Israeli police alleged Netanyahu received at least 1 million shekels, around $283,000, in lavish gifts and bribes.

Case 1,000 alleges that Netanyahu accepted gifts from wealthy patrons in return for advancing their interests. In so-called Case 2,000, Netanyahu is accused of striking a deal with Israel's second largest newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, to provide him with positive coverage in return for damaging the reputation of Israel Hayom, a free newspaper in Israel.

Case 1,000 names two wealthy businessmen, an Israeli Hollywood producer and an Australian businessman. In regards to the producer, the police said they had evidence for accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust. With respect to the businessman, the police only named fraud and breach of trust.

The police also added it had sufficient evidence of bribery to charge the producer, too.

Netanyahu blasted the development in a televised address this evening.

"I have not known a day in office without vicious allegations against me and my family," he said. "Fifteen investigations have been launched against me. I know the truth. This time as well, it will end in nothing."

Netanyahu indicated he was committed to remaining prime minister.

"Nothing will divert me from my commitment to the good of the nation," he said. "I feel a deep commitment to continue to lead this people."

Last week, the embattled prime minister took to Facebook to criticize the police, calling the claims "ludicrous." He also attacked the credibility of the investigation after Israel Police Chief Roni Alshiech insinuated Netanyahu may have hired private investigators to follow those involved in the investigation.

He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying more than once "there will be nothing, because there is nothing."

Tuesday's recommendations are just that, recommendations, and while they are damaging politically and will certainly fuel calls for the prime minister to step down, the real decision to charge the prime minister lies with Israel's attorney general. Only a conviction with the charge of moral turpitude would legally force Netanayahu to step down.

By making the recommendations, though, the police are signaling they believe there is enough evidence to charge Netanyahu.

The police's reported recommendations would now go to Attorney General Avihai Mendelblit, who will decide whether to file charges. This process could take months.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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  • SonOfOlaf

    Just hire Gloria Alred and start a rumor.... that's how they get rid of politicians in the United States

  • Pat Dunne

    It sure took long enough, had they removed him 4 years ago we would have a peace plan in place with Palestine.
    Now if they can jail the rest of the Irgun (re-branded to Likud) party people life would be good.

  • CWEB

    Benjamin doesn't care. If he did he would of called out Russia when they build the Nuclear Plant in Iran. But what does he do. He goes to Russia and takes Photos with Vladimir Putin. He has never asked about sanctions against Russia. Why such a corruption and putting the Israeli People at RISK!

  • FfloydZzepp

    Just looking at him you can tell he's right wing sleaze.

  • bobhope1

    A truly deserving individual, who like many, see government as a self enrichment service exercise.

  • Chuck

    Maybe we will have an indictment also. Maybe they could tweet each other about how innocent they both are. LMAO.

  • Ronald Bandor

    Benjamin is not Yonatan, that's for sure.

  • boyscout

    Every moment in every day we are faced with choices of whether or not to be a criminal or a hero. Laws have purpose in how one conducts themselves in a civil society. We are losing that in this time of reality tv and virtual reality where there are no rules. No one should be above the law even by position. Not in any country. Greed is a nasty drug and when we trade decency, civility and values for it we always lose. Don't forget you cannot take it with you anyway.

  • CWEB

    I think is because he allowed the Russian to build the Nuclear Busher Plan in Iran but Benjamin never criticized Russia only goes every year for Photo Apps with Vladimir Putin. The Israeli people realize that that he is playing double game not standing up to the Russians and also in Syria and they want a new leader . We have family in Israel and they are very upset how Benjamin is a good friend of Putin and has put Israel at risk. Long leave Shimon Peres a true Hero for Israel!

  • Rubber Banned

    No wonder he and Trump are such good buddies. Kindred spirits.

  • mcln nova

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  • cy dygitt

    Israeli police said in a statement they had "sufficient evidence" against the prime minister in both cases "for the offense of accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust," but demagogue tRump said it was "fake news" not reported on Fox Nooz.

  • knowledge n understanding

    Am I the only one who knew he was crooked.

  • John Barron

    "Netanyahu is accused of striking a deal with Israel's
    second largest newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, to provide him with
    positive coverage in return for damaging the reputation of Israel Hayom,
    a free newspaper in Israel"

    Trump is wondering why didn't Fox news think of that..

    Oh wait. :)

  • stamped human bacon

    A fraud and a cheat? These are features, not flaws.

  • virgillionhere

    Lock him up

  • Nearl45 5

    Graft-Bibi.

    Has a ring to it like Graffiti.

    I like it.

  • Benedict Donald T.A.B.A

    also in the news, ground breaking for trump hotel jerusalem, adjacent to the new us embassy is underway...

  • iyer94087

    Next Generations needs separate College degree for World Politicians on ethics to make better world.

  • Optimist-2618173

    No surprise. Another good friend of Trump.

  • Ibrahim Jamal

    Not so fast liberals in America and Israel since PM Netanyahu is not going anywhere. Clearly, The Israeli Lefties and Liberals are the Trojan Horse of the Iranian regime which could not fight the strong Israeli military but can topple Israel from within using liberal Lefties in the Israeli Police using libels against PM Netanyahu. it is not coincident that the radical liberal democrats in America and Israel were able to use the FBI democratic party political cal hacks in America and similarly liberal lefty political hacks of the Israeli police officers in their effort to subvert the will of the voters in America as well as the voters in Israel and pushing for a coup using lies and deceit together with the liberal media of crooks led by the new York Times , CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS and others in America together with their partners n Israel Arutz 2, Arutz 10, Ha’Aretz and YNET. This is great day for the Iranian regime which finances the NY Times together with anarchist George Soros in effort to push the globalist agenda against president Trump and PM Netanyahu who push against the Iranian take over the Middle East and the Iranian nukes. While in America the conspiracy of the FBI led by James Comey and Hillary Clinton is coming to light, Israel is falling to a coup that could topple the government by the lefty’s liberal liar in the Israeli police and bring to defeat to the Iranian regime. It is time for the Israeli people to prevent a third temple holocaust by the liberal lefty’s liars in the police with support of the Israeli media. The fall of Israel government will destroy Israel democracy while it is clear that the American Democratic Party in America together with the NY Times seek the demise of Israel and the undermining of Israel security while supporting taking over by the Terrorists of Hamas, Hezbollah under the Iranian regime.

  • think before you type

    This is crazy. It's also funny to see how many can't stay on point, it's a sad obsession.

  • Tim Coolio

    He's friends with our president, somehow this doesn't surprise me.

  • DJT-LiarInChief

    Trump should be next except GOP Congress and Senate are traitors.

  • SpeakingForThoseWithBrains

    Karma is never kind to scumbags........Donnie's up next.

  • mik8888

    Funny how he used virtually the same words Donald uses in all his allegations..."They will find nothing, because there is nothing"...

  • Bryan Chaides

    The similarities between netty and chump are striking. Two corrupt world leaders that need to be impeached.

  • Roberta

    looks like their government is learning from America did comey and hillary go to israel latey

  • fleckrr

    Hang tough Bibi ! Trump will be doin' a "by the way Bibi denies it, He TOTALLY denies it. Count on it.
    Sad !

  • Just Watching

    "By making the recommendations, though, the police are signaling they believe there is enough evidence to charge Netanyahu.
    So the police find evidence that Netanyahu received gifts. (Good thing no other world leaders accept gifts!) So there's enough evidence to ask for legal explanation and the nut-jobs here thinks it's a conviction.

  • Red Hawk

    Last week, the embattled prime minister took to Facebook to criticize the police, calling the claims "ludicrous." He also attacked the credibility of the investigation after Israel Police Chief Roni Alshiech insinuated Netanyahu may have hired private investigators to follow those involved in the investigation.===Right out of Trump's playbook