Millennium Post

Netanyahu's corruption cases

Netanyahus corruption cases

Corruption cases seem to haunt the supremely confident Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netyanhu. Israeli police said that there was enough evidence to indict him in a third corruption investigation. Evidence of fraud, bribery, and breach of trust have been found. Police also said there was enough evidence to charge his wife, Sara Netanyahu, with fraud, receiving bribes and interfering with an investigation. The case, known as Case 4000, is one of the largest facing the Israeli leader and his inner circle. It deals with the relationship between the Ministry of Communications, then under Netanyahu, and Israeli telecommunications firm Bezeq. According to investigators, Netanyahu advanced regulatory benefits worth up to One billion shekels (approximately $280 million) to Shaul Elovitch, the controlling shareholder of Bezeq, and Netanyahu's friend. In exchange, prosecutors say Elovitch gave Netanyahu favourable news coverage in online news site Walla! News, which is owned by Elovitch. Both Netanyahu and Elovitch have denied any wrongdoing. But, of course! Netanyahu responded, "The police recommendations against me and my wife do not surprise anyone. These recommendations were decided and leaked before the investigation had even begun. The police recommendations have no legal standing. There was nothing because there is nothing." Police have already said there was enough evidence to indict Netanyahu on charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust in two separate cases. A final decision whether to prosecute lies with Israel's Attorney General. In Case 1000, Netanyahu is suspected of having received gifts from businessmen overseas totalling One million shekels (approximately $280,000), including cigars, champagne, jewellery and more, from 2007 through 2016. The second case, called Case 2000, involves conversations Netanyahu had with Arnon Mozes, the owner of one of Israel's leading newspapers, Yedioth Ahronoth, which is regularly critical of the Prime Minister. Both Netanyahu and Mozes have said they were not serious discussions; rather, they each claim they were trying to expose the other's lack of trustworthiness. The Prime Minister's wife, Sara Netanyahu, was charged in July with fraud and breach of trust in a separate investigation, alleging misuse of state funds at the couple's official residence. Following the latest statement from police, it was but natural for opposition politicians once again to call on Netanyahu to resign. Tzipi Livni, the former Foreign Minister, said, "Netanyahu has to go before he takes down law enforcement authorities in order to save himself. The people of Israel deserve clean leadership." Despite the ongoing criminal investigations, which began a year and a half ago, Netanyahu has held on to the support of his Likud party and his coalition. Under Israeli law, Netanyahu does not have to resign until he is convicted and that conviction is upheld through the appeals process.

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