Israeli Police Recommend Netanyahu Be Indicted on Corruption Charges
16 February, 2018, 02:46 | Author: Terri Saunders
Culture Minister Miri Regev said Lapid "decided to join guillotine-happy crowds" who have been protesting against the prime minister in Tel Aviv "in order to try and bring down Netanyahu through anti-democratic means".
Likud ministers also blasted Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid, who police revealed as a key witness in Case 1000 on Tuesday.
Coalition chief David Amsalem called him a "shtinker" - similar to a snitch.
He later issued a statement calling on Netanyahu to resign.
A prime minister who is facing such police recommendations or who has been formally charged with offences is not obliged to resign.
A police statement said there was enough evidence to indict Mr Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two separate cases.
Producer Arnon Milchan and chef Wolfgang Puck (R) and attend the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.
"One receives gifts, not demands", the police said, and referred to testimony they had gathered that "there was a demand (by the Netanyahus) to receive the goods in a systematic and covert manner". Its plot reads like one of Milchan's own films, centering around hush-hush gifts of expensive pink champagne, thousand-dollar cigars and face time with Hollywood elite in exchange for tax breaks worth billions of shekels. Addressing the people soon after the Israeli Police announced its reports, Benjamin Netanyahu said, "I'm sure that the truth will come to light, and I'm sure that also in the next elections, I will once again win your loyalty, with the grace of God".
For months, police have been investigating two cases.
In Case 2000, police say Netanyahu made a deal with Arnon Mozes, the publisher of the daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.
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"In connection with Milchan, the police [department's] position is that sufficient evidence has been established on the suspicions of bribery".
Netanyahu says his brother's death "changed my life and directed it to its present course".
There was no immediate comment from Packer or Mozes.
Netanyahu also argued that the lead investigator is biased against him but has portrayed the investigations as something that's not about him personally but a left-wing media attempt to topple his right-wing government.
Netanyahu was prime minister from 1996 to 1999 and returned in March 2009, succeeding Olmert.
The police statement said that Mr Netanyahu, after receiving gifts, pushed for the Milchan Law, which would have ensured that Israelis who return to live in Israel from overseas were exempt from paying taxes for 10 years. In the past, such processes involving elected officials have taken months, or even a few years.
"Over the years, I have been the subject of at least 15 enquiries and investigations", he said in his TV address.
He said past scandals had all "ended with nothing" and "this time as well they will end with nothing".
"It is the duty of every decent public figure to strengthen the police and the law and to act to end the path of the government headed by Netanyahu", he wrote on Twitter.
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Former presidential aide An Chong-bum was sentenced to six years of prison and a fine of 100 million won for corruption. He was sentenced to 6 years in prison, a little longer than was expected, with a fine of 92 thousand dollars.
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