Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu 'should be charged' in third corruption case

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu 'should be charged' in third corruption case

Separately, police said earlier this month there was evidence to charge a Netanyahu lawyer and others with bribery in a corruption probe related to Israel's purchase of German submarines. In exchange, Elovitch, a long-time friend of Netanyahu's, allegedly ordered Walla to provide favorable coverage of the prime minister and his wife, Sara.

Earlier this year, investigators also recommended that Netanyahu be tried for allegedly taking almost $300,000 worth of gifts including expensive cigars and champagne from wealthy friends including Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer.

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".

Police in February recommended indicting Mr Netanyahu in two other corruption investigations. A final decision whether to prosecute lies with Israel's Attorney General.

Police also recommended indicting Mr Elovitch and his wife Iris for giving bribes, among other offences, while the statement said their son Or should face fraud charges.

The Bezeq case, known as Case 4000, is the most serious of which Netanyahu has been accused. "The police recommendations have no legal standing".

Israeli investigators said they had amassed more evidence that the prime minister traded influence for favors, this time in a case involving the country's largest telecommunications carrier.

In Case 1000, Netanyahu is suspected of having received gifts from businessmen overseas totaling 1 million shekels (approximately $280,000), including cigars, champagne, jewelry and more, from 2007 through 2016. She also illegally paid approximately $10,000 for private chefs, prosecutors said.

Tzipi Livni, the former Foreign Minister, said, "Netanyahu has to go before he takes down law enforcement authorities in order to save himself".

It's up to the attorney general whether to indict. The White House is trying to build a coalition of Middle Eastern leaders to deter Iran, to that end encouraging the warming of relations between Israel and Arab states that outwardly shun it and sidelining the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The statement recommending charges against Netanyahu in the case were published on the last day in office for Commissioner Roni Alsheich, who is stepping down after a three-year term.

"A prime minister with so many criminal cases around him can not continue in his job and must resign", said Avi Gabbay, the head of the Labor party.

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