Israeli police recommend indictment of Netanyahu

Israeli police recommend indictment of Netanyahu

Labor Party Chairman Avi Gabbay said that "the Netanyahu era is over, either at the ballot box or through investigations".

He says "there are things that are forbidden to do in a democratic government and this is one of them".

Culture Minister Miri Regev, who also expressed support for Netanyahu after dismissing the police recommendations as "widely anticipated", focused on revelations that opposition leader Yair Lapid was the main testimony in investigations for one of the two cases.

"I am certain, as I have always been certain, and nothing has changed, that the truth will come to light and nothing will come of this". Only for the good of the state. "This is what I did up until now and what I will continue to do". But the longtime premier Netanyahu angrily rejects the accusations, which include accepting almost $300,000 in gifts from two billionaires. This may have been the "surprise" that Chief of Police Ron Alsh ich promised earlier in the week.

The second case, "Case 2000", involves Arnon Mozes, the publisher of Israel's biggest-selling newspaper, who allegedly discussed with the prime minister ways to slow the growth of a rival daily newspaper, including through legislation.

Case 1000 deals with Netanyahu's relationship with Australian billionaire James Packer and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.

"Among friends there is a motif of mutuality", which they asserted was missing in this case.

Police recommended indicting Milchan and the publisher, Arnon Moses, with bribery as well, the statement said.

According to the police, the gifts from Milchan were worth more than $1 million shekels ($283,000).

In a statement to Israeli media, the lawyer for Mozes said, "The cases against him will be closed".

The report did not allege any benefits given to Packer by Netanyahu.

Lapid later issued a statement calling on Netanyahu to resign.

"I am aware of the public opinion, from the left and the right, in regards to the police recommendation around the investigation of the Prime Minister", Kahlon wrote on his Facebook page.

"There is no way to manage a country while you are fighting such serious suspicions". The only reason I do what I do is to protect the security of the people of Israel. Netanyahu added that on numerous occasions, whether it was the closing of channel 10 or while he was working as the Finance Minister in Israel and took apart the monopoly of auto-industry parts in Israel, he worked directly against the interests on Milchin. Yet since this has never happened with a prime minister before, Israel would have to set a new legal standard to make it happen.

The decision on whether to proceed with the indictment now rests with Attorney-General Avihai Mendelblit, and the Prime Minister's fate may not be decided for several months. "A prime minister that busies himself with attacking his police and law enforcement is simply attacking himself, attacking the country".

By Israeli law, he is only required to step down if he is convicted and that conviction is upheld through the appeals process to the High Court, a process that could take years.

It's up to Mandelblit whether there is enough evidence to prosecute Netanyahu.

An indictment would not require him to immediately step down.

"This is nothing new".

Responding generally to the police recommendations, Lapid said: "Even if the letter of the law doesn't obligate the prime minister to resign, in a proper country a person accused of such serious allegations... can not continue to serve as prime minister".

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