Netanyahu fights back after police recommend indictments in corruption cases
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fought back against accusations of corruption on Tuesday after police recommended that he be indicted on charges of bribery and illicit quid-pro-quo agreements in two separate cases.
In an emotional televised speech, Netanyahu vehemently denied any wrongdoing, adding that the multiple investigations into his office “will end with nothing.”
In a statement read on an Israeli media broadcast earlier that day, Israeli Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich said that police have recommended to the Attorney General’s office that Netanyahu be charged with two counts of bribery and breach of trust.
A months-long investigation led police to suspect Netanyahu of wrongdoing in two separate cases.
“Case 1000” alleges that Netanyahu and his wife received lavish gifts from Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan in return for favors. The gifts included cigars, champagne and jewelry all estimated at around $185,000.
The second investigation, “Case 2000,” alleges that Netanyahu engaged in an illicit quid-pro-quo deal with Israeli newspaper publisher Arnon Mozes. The prime minister is accused of agreeing to weaken a rival paper in return for more favorable coverage from Mozes’ paper, “Yedioth Ahronoth.”
Netanyahu said in his statement that in the 20 years that he has served his country, “all I’ve done is for the sake of Israel.”
Although potentially damning, this was not the first time the prime minister has had allegations made against him.
He hinted that the police were acting in prejudice, saying that there have been 15 previous attempts to investigate him, all failed.
After his first term, Netanyahu and his wife faced similar accusations when police recommended that they face criminal charges for keeping gifts that should have been handed over to the state, BBC reported. Those charges were later dropped. They were again accused in 2015 of using government money to fund a private contractor but again, the charges were dropped.
The recommendations now go to Attorney General Avihai Mendelblit, who will review the material before deciding whether to file charges. Netanyahu can remain in office during that process, which could drag on for months.
Netanyahu said he will not resign and will continue to work for the good of his country, adding the he knows he has the public support.
Fox News’ Yonat Friling and The Associated Press contributed to this report.