Israel's police chiefs to recommend indicting Netanyahu

Israel's police chiefs to recommend indicting Netanyahu

Netanyahu himself is no stranger to investigations: In 1997, during his first term, police wanted him to stand trial in an influence-peddling case involving the appointment of an attorney general.

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

Mickey Rosenfeld, a police spokesman, said two investigations in which Netanyahu has been named a suspect are "reaching a final conclusion". So I want to reassure you: "There will be nothing because I know the truth", Netanyahu said. "The State of Israel is a nation of law".

Meanwhile, the Lobby for the Land of Israel, one of the most powerful lobbies in the Knesset, is reportedly urging Netanyahu to keep the bill on the agenda.

Channel 2 said police chose to make no recommendation and leave a decision on those charges up to the prosecutor's office. "So, don't be under pressure".

Israeli media have reported that police are expected to recommend his indictment for bribery, fraud and breach of public trust. Mr Netanyahu, 68, could be charged with receiving illegal gifts.

Police will not present a recommendation on another case alleging Netanyahu negotiated with Yediot Aharonot publisher Arnon "Noni" Mozes for favorable coverage, Channel 2 said. In return he offered to have the circulation of a rival, pro-Netanyahu paper reduced, presumably through influencing its owner, the USA businessman and conservative financier Sheldon Adelson. "It is shocking that the police chief would hint that the prime minister was involved in a case of assault".

While Zionist Union chair Gabbay has previously said that Netanyahu need not resign over police recommendations for indictment, in his statement Thursday he said that the government could no longer be trusted to make principled decisions uninfluenced by the investigations.

Throughout the investigation into both matters, Netanyahu has maintained that he has not committed any wrongdoing. The law says that the one to determine whether there is evidence against the prime minister is the attorney general and he consults with the state attorney.

"Netanyahu made it clear to the ministers that Israel should not be the pioneer in this context, since besides Canada there is no country in the world that exports the drug", she said.

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