Israeli police have recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted on charges of bribery and breach of trust, following a 14-month investigation into two cases of alleged corruption.
In a statement, police said that enough evidence had been gathered against Netanyahu for committing “bribery, fraud, and breach of trust”, throwing his political future in doubt.
Netanyahu held a press conference in Jerusalem minutes after the release of the police statement, in which he strongly denied any wrongdoing, dismissed rumours that he would resign and said the recommendation was simply an attempt to remove him from office.
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“All these attempts end up with nothing because I know the truth. I tell you, also this time, things will end up with nothing,” he said.
The BBC reports that the first case, dubbed “case 2000” centres on allegations that Netanyahu approached newspaper publisher Yediot Aharonot asking for “positive media coverage in exchange for help in reining in a rival publication.”
The second case, dubbed “case 1000”, revolves around claims that Netanyahu has accepted illicit gifts valued at around one million shekels (£204,000).
The majority of the gifts, valued at 750,000 shekels, allegedly came from Hollywood producer and media magnate Arnon Milchan, while the remainder were provided by Australian billionaire businessman James Packer.
The Guardian says in return for the gifts, Netanyahu provided Milchan with help on “US visa matters and Israeli tax breaks.”
Netanyahu has vowed to stay on as Prime Minister, and indicated that he intends to run in elections that must be held before the end of 2019.
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