Police Indict Netanyahu, Wife in Third Graft Probe

Israeli police on Sunday recommended indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara for bribery and other offences, the third such move against the premier since the probe started.

Though Netanyahu immediately rejected the accusations, the three cases against him have led to speculation that they could eventually force the long-serving prime minister to step down.

The head of the opposition Labour party, Avi Gabbay, renewed his call for Netanyahu to resign after the latest recommendations were released.

The attorney general will now decide whether to bring indictments in the case, which centres on regulatory benefits allegedly granted to telecommunications firm Bezeq in exchange for positive coverage from a related media company.

In the findings announced Sunday, police said there was evidence to charge Netanyahu with bribery, fraud, breach of trust and unlawful acceptance.

They also recommended Sara Netanyahu face charges of bribery, fraud, breach of trust and obstruction of justice.

The premier has repeatedly called the allegations against him in all three cases a plot by his political enemies to force him from office, arguing in a statement that “these recommendations were determined and leaked even before the investigations began.”

“I’m sure that in this case the relevant authorities, after examining the issue, will reach the same conclusion: that there was nothing because there is nothing,” he said.

Netanyahu has been prime minister for a total of more than 12 years, from 1996 to 1999 and again since 2009.

He could next year surpass the record set by Israel’s founding father David Ben-Gurion, who spent more than 13 years in office.

According to Israeli law, he is not required to step down if indicted — only if he is convicted with all appeals exhausted.


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