'Enough evidence to charge Benjamin Netanyahu': Israeli police

Israeli police recommend indicting Netanyahu

Israeli police recommend indicting Netanyahu

Israeli police on Sunday said they had found enough evidence for bribery and fraud charges to be brought against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife in a third corruption case against the Israeli leader.

Investigators said Netanyahu should stand trial on charges of accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust and fraudulently accepting benefits.

A spokesman for Mr Netanyahu said there was no legal basis for the police recommendations and that ultimately nothing would come of the investigation.

The newest police recommendation comes as his right-wing coalition's majority was reduced to just one seat in parliament, having enjoyed an nearly total dominance in Israeli politics.

The case surrounds suspicions that Netanyahu's government gave regulatory favours to telecoms company Bezeq in exchange for favourable coverage of the PM.

He is already considering whether to charge Mr Netenyahu in two other cases, one relating to allegations the politician accepted presents from businessmen.

Netanyahu has been prime minister for a total of more than 12 years, from 1996 to 1999 and again since 2009.

Former journalists at the Walla news site have attested to being pressured to refrain from negative reporting of Netanyahu.

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It is claimed Netanyahu and his advisers supported regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to telecom company Bezeq.

Police are also recommending charges be brought against Elovitch and members of his family.

Israel's attorney general Avichai Mandelblit will make the final decision as to whether to indict the prime minister.

Police say the investigation, which included the testimony of 60 witnesses, revealed that Netanyahu and Bezeq boss Shaul Elovitch engaged in a "bribe-based relationship". Mr Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing.

The second case, called Case 2000, involves conversations Netanyahu had with Arnon Mozes, the owner of one of Israel's leading newspapers, Yedioth Ahronoth, which is regularly critical of the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister's wife, Sara Netanyahu, was charged in July with fraud and breach of trust in a separate investigation, alleging misuse of state funds at the couple's official residence.

"A prime minister with so many corruption cases around him can not continue at his job and must resign", Gabbay tweeted.

The other is Mr Shlomo Filber, a Netanyahu ally for more than 20 years and former director general of the communications ministry.

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