Israeli Police To Recommend Corruption Indictment For PM Netanyahu

Mahmoud ZAYYAT

Alsheich's insinuation is "so grave" that it warrants its own "objective investigation" on the police's handling of the cases against him, added Netanyahu, who said the comments "cast a shadow" over the investigations.

Israeli police will recommend indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges, the premier confirmed on Wednesday.

Roni Alsheikh, the chief of police, convened his top investigators for a final summing-up of evidence in two investigations. If Netanyahu serves his fourth mandate, which expires on July 16, 2019, in full, he will tie with David Ben-Gurion to become the longest-serving Prime Minister in Israel's history. Its last four prime ministers have all been probed, and police recommended indicting Ariel Sharon while he was in office, although the attorney general dropped the case. "The state prosecutor recently said in the Knesset that about half of the police's recommendations end with nothing", Netanyahu said Wednesday. "So, don't be under pressure".

The second case is concerned with suspicions that Netanyahu discussed a secret deal to help scale down the circulation of Israel Hayom newspaper in exchange for more favourable coverage in rival publication Yediot Aharonot. In return he offered to have the circulation of a rival, pro-Netanyahu paper reduced, presumably through influencing its owner, the US businessman and conservative financier Sheldon Adelson.




Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, a Netanyahu appointee, has been accused of dragging his feet on the investigations.

But Netanyahu, one of the few allies U.S. President Donald Trump and the leader of the most conservative government in Israel's history, denies all allegations. I am sure that at the end of the day the competent legal bodies will come to one conclusion, to the simple truth: "There is nothing".

The corruption allegations have sparked a backlash across Israel, with people staging "Marches of Shame" in cities against reported corruption by Netanyahu.

MK Tamar Zandberg, who is running for the leadership of her dovish Meretz party, echoed Gabbay's statement, saying that the public "cannot rely on a prime minister to manage state affairs for the national good while he is neck-deep in investigations and desperate attempts to get out of them".

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