After a 14-month-long investigation, Israeli police have reportedly recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted on charges of bribery and breach of trust.
As The Jerusalem Post reports, police say they have found enough evidence to recommend the state’s prosecution to indict Netanyahu in Case 1000, the “gifts affair” and Case 2000, the “Yediot Aharanot Affair.”
In Case 1000, the “gifts affair,” it is alleged that Netanyahu improperly accepted expensive gifts from different businessmen.
In Case 2000, the “Yediot Aharonot affair,” Netanyahu allegedly negotiated with publisher Arnon “Noni” Mozes for favorable coverage of himself in Yediot Aharonot in exchange for support of a bill to weaken Israel Hayom, the largest circulation Hebrew-language paper and Yediot’s biggest competitor.
At this stage, the prosecution and Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit will examine the evidence that police collected throughout the investigations, and will later decide whether to actually indict the prime minister or not.
Netanyahu will not be required at this point to resign from office. The law says that only after a peremptory Supreme Court verdict (meaning after an appeal was submitted and rejected), the prime minister must resign from office.
No response so far from Netanyahu’s office or from his “good friend” Trump.
As we noted previously, relations between Netanyahu and police have grown sour throughout the investigations, nearly a year after they became public knowledge. As Bloomberg reports, the prime minister and his supporters have accused police of deliberately leaking information about the investigations to Israeli media, claiming he’s the target of an organized campaign by the press and left-wing opponents to unseat him. Thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets in recent weekends, rallying against government corruption and calling on Netanyahu to step down.
Meanwhile, Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, is mired in three legal disputes; two involving the receipt of illegal gifts and favors from businessmen in exchange for advancing their interests.