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14/02/2018 5:33 AM AEDT | Updated 14/02/2018 8:57 AM AEDT

Israeli Police Recommend Prime Minister Netanyahu Be Indicted On Corruption Charges

He could face indictment after a months long investigation into two separate allegations of corruption.

Israeli police have recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted on corruption charges, after police agreed last week there was sufficient evidence to charge him, Israeli media reported Tuesday.

Netanyahu responded to the reports in a live address Tuesday afternoon, saying he will continue to lead Israel and that the recommendations against him will “end with nothing.”

The nation’s prime minister since 2009, he could face indictment after a monthslong investigation into two separate allegations of corruption. The police findings will be examined by state prosecutors and the attorney general, which could take months, The New York Times reported. 

In a first case, known as Case 1000, investigators have looked at whether Netanyahu accepted bribes from billionaire donors, including Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan. 

In Case 2000, Netanyahu faced claims he entered into a deal with the publisher of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper in which he would receive favorable coverage in exchange for weakening a rival publication by restricting its circulation. Both the prime minister and the publisher, Arnon Mozes, have denied that the conversations, leaked in transcripts to the media, were serious discussions.

Netanyahu has denied wrongdoing in both cases. In a Facebook video published last week in response to news of the impending recommendation, the prime minister maintained his innocence and said the investigations would turn up “nothing.”

“Many of you are asking, what will happen? So I want to reassure you: There will be nothing, because I know the truth,” he said, according to a translation of his address. “I’m sure that at the end of the day the qualified legal factors will come to one conclusion, the simple truth: There is nothing.” 

In a follow-up statement, also posted to Facebook last week, the prime minister criticized the investigation and claimed “a great shadow” had been “imposed tonight on police investigations in the matter of Prime Minister Netanyahu.”

“Any fair-minded person will ask themselves how people who say such delusional things about the prime minister can investigate him objectively and make recommendations in his case without bias,” he wrote.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said in August that if Netanyahu were to be indicted on corruption charges, he would not be obligated to resign.

Netanyahu is serving his fourth term as Israel’s prime minister, the second time he has held the position after formerly being elected to the office from 1996 to 1999. 

Jim Hollander/Pool/Reuters
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enters the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday.

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