Netanyahu faces the prospect of indictment on corruption charges

GALI TIBBON / POOL

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opens the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office moments after he was informed about a shooting attack in Jerusalem, where a Palestinian opened fire from a car wounding at least four people before police shot him dead, on October 9, 2016.

Netanyahu faces the prospect of indictment on corruption charges


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Israeli police has resolved on Tuesday that there is ample evidence to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in relation to two cases of corruption.

The Israeli prime minister is likely to face bribery and fraud charges. On Tuesday evening, Netanyahu addressed the nation in a televised interview, holding his ground, and recalling that he has faced 15 similar inquiries, all of whom amount to nothing. In this case, he said, his political opponents are attacking his wife and children to get to him.  “All of those attempts resulted in nothing, and this time again they will come to nothing,” Netanyahu said.

The case is now in the hands of the Attorney General, Avihai Mandelblit.

The Israeli police suggest they have enough evidence to charge the prime minister with corruption. The allegations link Netanyahu with the Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, the Australian billionaire James Parker, and the newspaper publisher Arnon Mozes. The prime minister allegedly exchanged favouritism with lavish gifts and positive news coverage.

In the case of the two billionaires, Netanyahu and his wife Sarah allegedly received gifts in cigars and champagne to the tune of hundreds of thousands of Euros. The quid pro quo dimension was legislation that would ensure substantial tax breaks. In the case of the newspaper publisher, Netanyahu allegedly took steps that would weaken one newspapers’ circulation in exchange for positive coverage from another.

It is now presumed that one of the key witnesses against prime minister Netanyahu will be his political rival and former minister of finance Yair Lapid.

 

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