x
Breaking News
0

Israeli police recommend bribery charges against Netanyahu

WorldFeb 13, 2018 07:05PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Owner and publisher of Yedioth Ahronoth Arnon Mozes leaves a police investigation unit in Lod

By Jeffrey Heller

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli police on Tuesday recommended indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for bribery, opening the way for what could be the biggest challenge yet to the right-wing leader's political survival.

Against the backdrop of Israeli flags in a televised speech at his residence, a somber Netanyahu called the allegations baseless and vowed to complete his fourth term in office.

It will be up to Israel's attorney general to decide whether to file charges, a process that could take weeks if not months.

The recommendations, which police made public on Tuesday night, were at the more serious end of the range of charges that had been expected to be leveled against Netanyahu in two criminal investigations that have gone on for more than a year.

One of the cases, known as Case 1000, alleged the "committing of crimes of bribery, fraud and breach of trust by the prime minister, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu."

In a detailed statement, police named Arnon Milchan, a Hollywood producer and Israeli citizen, and Australian businessman James Packer, saying that for nearly a decade, from 2007 to 2016, they gave gifts that included champagne, cigars and jewelry to Netanyahu and his family.

In all, the merchandise was worth more than one million shekels ($280,000), the statement said. Any legal proceedings would likely focus on whether political favors were sought or granted.

Netanyahu's lawyers said the presents were simply tokens of friendship.

The second, Case 2000, also alleged "bribery, fraud and breach of trust by the prime minister" and by the publisher of the biggest-selling Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Arnon Mozes. The two men, police said, discussed ways of slowing the growth of a rival daily newspaper, Israel Hayom, "through legislation and other means".

Netanyahu, who has denied wrongdoing, has been questioned several times by police since the start of 2017.

In his television appearance, minutes after police made their recommendations public, Netanyahu, 68, recounted his military service as a commando and said he had never sought personal gain from politics.

"I will continue to lead Israel responsibly and faithfully for as long as you, the citizens of Israel, choose me to lead you," he said. "I am certain, I am certain, that the truth will be revealed, and I am certain that at the next elections, which will be held on schedule, I will earn your trust again, with God's help."

Israel is next scheduled to go to the polls in late 2019.

"Because I know the truth, I tell you ... things will end in nothing," Netanyahu said.

HOLLYWOOD PRODUCER

Israel's Channel 10 television quoted a lawyer for Milchan as saying that occasional gift-giving was devoid of any business interests.

Milchan or New Regency Productions, a Hollywood movie studio he founded and chairs, have produced more than 100 films, including recent Oscar best picture winners "12 Years a Slave", "Birdman", and "The Revenant". New Regency did not immediately return a request for comment.

A spokesman for Packer said, "There is no allegation of wrongdoing on Mr. Packer's behalf. The Israeli and Australian police have confirmed that he was interviewed as a witness, not a suspect."

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, asked about the police decision, cited Washington's "very strong relationship" with Netanyahu and the Israeli government.

"We're certainly aware of it, but we consider it to be an internal Israeli matter," Nauert said.

Israelis have seen their leaders embroiled in legal trouble before. Last year, Ehud Olmert, prime minister from 2006 to 2009, was released from prison after serving 19 months of a 27-month sentence over a variety of corruption charges.

Israeli police recommend bribery charges against Netanyahu
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Write your thoughts here
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Post
Post also to:
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Post 1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email