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Israeli police recommend charging Netanyahu with bribery

IANS  |  Jerusalem 

on Tuesday recommended charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust against in two separate corruption cases.

After the month-long investigation, the police handed over their recommendation to Israel's Avichai Mandelblit, who will decide whether to press charges against the prime minister, reported

In a formal statement, the police said that they have concluded that there is "sufficient evidence" against in the cases.

In the first case, dubbed by the police "case 1000," allegedly accepted bribery from an Israeli and Hollywood tycoon and an Australian businessman,

The police said between 2007 and 2016, Netanyahu and his family received expensive cigars, champagne and jewellery worth about a million shekels (approximately $282,800).

Following the re-election of Netanyahu as in 2009, "the scope and frequency of the transfer of goods increased significantly," the statement said.

In return for the goods, Netanyahu allegedly approached US officials and asked them to extend Milchan's visa to the US.

He also acted to promote a law that gives tax exemption for returning Israeli residents who were living abroad for over 10 years, known as the "Milchan Bill," and helped Milchan to promote his investment in the Israeli media.

In another case, dubbed "case 2000," Netanyahu allegedly received bribes from Arnon Mozes, the publisher of Yedioth Aharonoth, one of Israel's largest newspapers.

The police said Netanyahu and Mozes held talks over an "exchange deal," in which Netanyahu would receive favourable coverage in in return for promoting a law and other measures that would limit the distribution of Hayom, Yedioth's main rival.

Netanyahu maintained his innocence in a video statement broadcast on all of the main channels in the country and on his page.

He accused the police of launching the investigation in order to "topple" him from power.

"Things will end without anything," he said in an address from the courtyard of the official Prime Minister's residence in

"These recommendations have no place in a democratic state," he said.

Lawmakers with the opposition called on Netanyahu to resign, saying he is not capable of performing his duties under the serious suspicion.

But sources close to Netanyahu said he would resign only if he was found guilty in the court of law.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 14 2018. 07:58 IST