Israeli Prime Minister under threat from third corruption case

Israel Police Recommend Indicting Benjamin Netanyahu In Corruption Probe

Police recommend Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted for bribery

Israeli police have recommended indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on bribery charges involving Israel's telecom giant.

Investigators recommended that Netanyahu's wife, Sara, be indicted on bribery charges, too, but the prime minister said the couple would be cleared.

This time it is on suspicion that the leader eased business regulations for the country's largest telecommunications company in exchange for favourable coverage for him and his wife on a popular news website owned by the firm.

The decision whether to indict falls to Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit, who still hasn't ruled on the two other corruption cases in which police have already said Netanyahu should be indicted.

The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the accusations as a witch hunt orchestrated by the media.

The investigations never came close to connecting Netanyahu and Elovitch, but the overreaction by the two sides and the alleged efforts at obstruction would produce the paper trail that gave police the leverage to convince both Yeshua and Hefetz, as well as other officials, to turn state's witnesses, bringing their testimony and mountains of evidence - including Yeshua's written testimony from December 28, 2016, as well as his phone - into investigators' hands. Mr Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing.

Netanyahu is suspected of having received luxury gifts from businessmen overseas in Case 1000.

If the indictment comes first, it is unclear how or if Netanyahu will be able to remain Prime Minister.

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The website was used to promote the Prime Minister's personal interests by publishing flattering articles and pictures and removing critical content about him and his family, said the police statement.

"These recommendations were determined and leaked even before the investigations began", Mr Netanyahu said in a statement.

In a statement, police said the investigation concluded that Netanyahu and Elovitch engaged in a "bribe-based relationship".

Mr Netanyahu rejected the allegations in what is known as Case 4000.

Some analysts say Mr Netanyahu could call a snap election because of the legal proceedings, with the next national vote not due until November 2019.

"A prime minister with so many criminal cases around him can not continue in his job and must resign", said Avi Gabbay, the head of the Labor party.

"He'll send a message to the attorney general that everyone knew about these three police reports and they still voted for him and want him in power", Hazan said. "A person with such a sickly obsession with what the media says about him must not lead the State of Israel". Netanyahu held the government's communications portfolio until past year and oversaw regulation in the field.

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