Israel PM Netanyahu 'should be charged with corruption'


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister"s office in Jerusalem on February 11, 2018.Image copyright
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Israeli police say that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be charged over alleged bribery cases.

A police statement said there is enough evidence to indict Mr Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two separate cases.

Police had questioned Mr Netanyahu as part of an inquiry into corruption allegations last month.

Speaking on Israeli television, he said the allegations were baseless and that he would continue as prime minister.

What are the allegations?

One case centres on an allegation that Mr Netanyahu asked the publisher of an Israeli newspaper, Yediot Aharonot, for positive coverage in exchange for help in reining in a rival publication.

Police said the editor of Yediot Aharonot, Arnon Mozes, should also face charges.

The second allegation centres on a claim that Mr Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister since 2009, received more than $100,000 (£72,000) in gifts from Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan and other supporters.

The Jerusalem Post says the gifts included champagne and cigars, and were given in exchange for help getting Mr Milchan a US visa.

Mr Milchan should face bribery charges, police said.

Haaretz newspaper reports that Mr Netanyahu, after receiving gifts, pushed for the Milchan Law, which ensures Israelis who return to live in Israel from abroad are exempt from paying taxes for 10 years.

What happens now?

A final decision on whether Mr Netanyahu should face charges will come down to the attorney general’s office.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said any prime minister who has been charged should not be obliged to resign.

And speaking on Israeli television, Mr Netanyahu said he would continue in his role.

He said the recommendations made by police will “end with nothing”.

The 68-year-old is in his second stint as prime minister, and has served in the role for a total of 12 years.



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