Israeli police have recommended that state prosecutors indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over corruption and misuse of public funds.
The police are to formally announce its recommendation in Cases 1000 and 2000 next week.
Jpost.com reports: The investigating team, led by the head of the Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit Dep.-Ch. Koresh Bar-Nur, plans to meet with Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Roni Alsheich on Wednesday, ahead of the decision. The team will present its conclusions, as well as a document that summarizes both cases – which entails its recommendation on whether or not to indict Netanyahu.
Various media reports suggested that police are leaning toward recommending to the state prosecution that it should indict the prime minister in both Cases 1000 and 2000.
Channel 2 News highlighted the importance of the meeting on Wednesday and said that it will be held until a unanimous decision is made.
In Case 1000, the “expensive gifts affair,” police suspect that Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, received presents worth hundreds of thousands of shekels from various businessmen, and in return the prime minister used his influence to benefit them.
One of these businessmen is international movie producer Arnon Milchan. In a recent Channel 10 News report, it was revealed that during a meeting to discuss how Netanyahu could help him in extending his US visa, the latter asked him: “Where are my cigars?”
In Case 2000, the “Yediot Aharonot affair,” it is suspected that Netanyahu negotiated with Yediot Aharonotnewspaper publisher Arnon “Noni” Mozes for favorable coverage, in exchange for support of a bill to weaken Israel Hayom, the largest circulation Hebrew-language paper and Yediot’s biggest competitor.
In August, a court document revealed that the prime minister was suspected of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
In the past, Netanyahu has acknowledged accepting gifts from Milchan but maintained they were exchanged between friends and did not constitute bribery or breach of trust. He has denied any wrongdoing.
“It is allowed, according to the law, to receive gifts from friends,” Netanyahu said at the Knesset last January. “Arnon Milchan and I have been friends for over 20 years. We are good friends; our wives are good friends.”
Israel Police declined to comment on the matter.