Israeli police on Tuesday recommended that Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted in a pair of corruption cases, media reported, in an embarrassing blow to the embattled prime minister that is likely to fuel calls for him to step down.
The recommendations marked a dramatic ending to a months-long investigation into allegations that Netanyahu accepted tens of thousands of dollars in lavish gifts from a Hollywood mogul and offered to give preferential treatment to a newspaper publisher in exchange for favorable coverage. Netanyahu has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
The recommendations now go to Attorney General Avihai Mendelblit, who will review the material before deciding whether to file charges. Netanyahu can remain in office during that process, which could drag on for months.
With a cloud hanging over his head, he could soon find himself facing calls to step aside. During similar circumstances a decade ago, Netanyahu, as opposition leader, urged then-prime minister Ehud Olmert to resign during a police investigation, saying a leader “sunk up to his neck in interrogations” could not govern properly.
For months, cops have actually been examining 2 cases.
In one probe, called File 1000, Netanyahu apparently got over $100,000 United States in presents, consisting of champagne and pricey stogies from Hollywood magnate Arnon Milchan, Australian billionaire James Packer and other rich fans.
TELEVISION networks Channel 10 and Channel 2, and the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz papers reported cops advised indictments in both cases. The attorney general of the United States will now evaluate their conclusions and choose whether to submit charges.
Cops were anticipated to make an official statement later on Tuesday, and Netanyahu was anticipated to release a reaction.
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