Police want to charge Netanyahu over gifts

Violet Powell
February 9, 2018

As Israeli authorities prepare to indict Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges, the Prime Minister has addressed his supporters to reassure them of his innocence and his readiness to battle the charges in court.

Netanyahu said State Attorney Shai Nitzan, the head of the state prosecution, has stated that at least half the cases in which the police recommend charges are closed without indictments.

A government committee had determined that the export of cannabis would bring between 285 million to $1.14 billion a year to the Israeli economy, according to the report.

Alsheich further claimed that "powerful figures" had hired private investigators to collect information about the police investigators in the Netanyahu cases, apparently to personally discredit them once the recommendations emerged.

"It is shocking to discover that the commissioner has repeated the mistaken and ridiculous suggestion that Prime Minister Netanyahu sent private investigators after the police who are investigating him", the post said. Netanyahu has also charged the Israeli media with spreading "fake news" in regards to the investigations. "The law says that the person that decides if there is sufficient evidence against the prime minister is the attorney general, and he confers with the state attorney's office".

Netanyahu is also being investigated about a possible deal discussed between him and a newspaper publisher of the paper providing more positive coverage of Netanyahu in exchange for the passage of a law that would hurt the paper's main competitor.

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Mr Netanyahu, who has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, responded in a Facebook post. Investigators believe they've gathered enough evidence to prove Netanyahu is guilty of receiving bribes. 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", he added.

An indictment alone would not legally oblige Netanyahu to resign, though he would likely face mounting pressure to do so.

Response by Netanyahu's political rivals has been sharp.

In Netanyahu's first term as Prime Minister in the late '90s, police issued a recommendation to indict in two different graft probes. He was freed from prison in July after being granted parole from a 27-month sentence.

Mr Netanyahu has previously dismissed the corruption claims as a witch hunt orchestrated by a hostile media.

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