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Israels Opposition Urges Benjamin Netanyahu to Resign Amid Bribery Charges

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: bribery/corruption charges, government, israel, news, media, world, ethics, news )

- 16 days ago -
Israels opposition leader has called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to step down after the Israeli police recommended indicting him and his wife


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fly bird (26)
Sunday December 2, 2018, 8:18 pm
Israel’s opposition leader has called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to step down after the Israeli police recommended indicting him and his wife, Sara, for bribery and other corruption charges.

Tzipi Livni, the leader of the opposition in the Knesset, made the comment in a Twitter post on Sunday.

“Netanyahu must go home before he destroys the law enforcement in order to save his own skin. The people of Israel deserve a clean leadership. Elections now!” she said.

Livni, who also leads the Hatnuah liberal party, issued the call shortly after the police recommended indicting the premier and his wife, as well as media mogul Shaul Elovitch and his wife, Iris, for bribery and other corruption allegations in an investigation dubbed Case 4000.

Israel’s opposition leader Tzipi Livni

The case involved suspicions that Netanyahu, in his role as communications minister from 2014 to 2017, while he was also the premier, made controversial decisions that benefited Shaul Elovitch, who controlled Israel's largest telecommunications company, Bezeq.

In exchange, Elovitch, a long-time friend of Netanyahu’s, allegedly ordered the Walla News website to provide favorable coverage of the Israeli premier and his wife.

The police said they had found evidence that "Netanyahu and those close to him blatantly intervened, sometimes on a daily basis, in the content published on the Walla news website, and sought to influence the appointment of senior employees (editors and reporters), while using their ties to Shaul and [his wife] Iris Elovitch."

PressTV-Police recommend bribery charges against Netanyahus

The Israel police recommend indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara for bribery and other corruption charges in an investigation dubbed Case 4000.

Investigators said Netanyahu should stand trial on charges of accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust and fraudulently accepting benefits.

Meanwhile, head of the Labor Party Avi Gabbay, who also leads the center-left political alliance of Zionist Union, echoed Livni’s call.

"A prime minister with so many corruption cases around him cannot continue at his job and must resign,” Gabbay tweeted.

“A man (Netanyahu) driven by a sick obsession of what will be said about him in the media can’t lead” Israel, he further said, adding, “Every additional day at his post means damage” to the Israeli settlers.

This is the third such police recommendation against Netanyahu in recent months. Now, the Israeli attorney general should decide whether to bring indictments in the case.

PressTV-Netanyahu's lawyer should be indicted for bribery: Police

Israeli police say they have sufficient evidence that Netanyahu's cousin and personal lawyer committed bribery in the submarine affair.

The Israeli prime minister, however, dismissed the accusations against himself and his wife, saying the recommendations had already been determined “even before the investigations began.”

The Israeli police have already recommended charging Netanyahu for bribery and breach of trust in Case 1000 and Case 2000.

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

He is also suspected of negotiating favorable press coverage with the Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes in Case 2000.

“I am certain that the authorized officials, after considering the matters, will reach the same conclusion in this case as well -- that there was nothing because there is nothing,” Netanyahu further said on Sunday.

Israelis have been holding protests to demand the prime minister’s resignation over the corruption scandals, but Netanyahu has described the events as part of efforts meant to topple him “at any cost.”

fly bird (26)
Monday December 3, 2018, 6:35 am
December 02, 2018
Netanyahu Faces Another Possible Indictment for Bribe to Get Glowing Media Coverage.

Police say Israeli prime minister "intervened in a blatant and ongoing manner" in coverage at a news website
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing calls to resign after Israeli police on Sunday recommended indicting him and his wife on fraud and bribery charges.

It's the third such recommendation to hit the prime minister this year.

The New York Times lays out the alleged wrongdoing:

Between 2012 and 2017, the police said, Mr. Netanyahu "intervened in a blatant and ongoing manner, and sometimes even daily," in coverage at Walla, a news website owned by [telecommunications company] Bezeq, ensuring "flattering articles and pictures" were published and "removing critical content" about him and his family.

The police said Mr. Netanyahu and his associates sought to sway Walla's hiring of senior editors and reporters. In return, the police said, Mr. Netanyahu, who personally oversaw the communications ministry from 2014 to 2017, rewarded Bezeq with enormously lucrative concessions, including approval of its merger with Yes, a satellite television company, despite the objections of lower-level ministry officials.

It's up to the attorney general whether to indict.

The other two corruption scandals involve bribery as well. In one, "Netanyahu is suspected of receiving gifts worth at least a million shekels ($270,000; £210,000) from Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan and other supporters," the BBC reports. The other also involves bribing a newspaper, this time Yediot Aharonot, for positive coverage.

The new case, however, "is the most serious of all those of which Netanyahu has been accused," the Associated Press reports:

Two of his top confidants have turned state witnesses and are believed to have provided police with incriminating evidence. Netanyahu held the government's communications portfolio until last year and oversaw regulation in the field. Former journalists at the Walla news site have attested to being pressured to refrain from negative reporting of Netanyahu.

Netanyahu, for his part, denies wrongdoing.
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