Police Expected to Recommend That Netanyahu Be Tried in Case 2000 as Well

Netanyahu's former aide-turned-state witness, Ari Harow, is expected to play a critical role in the case in which an alleged deal is said to have been attempted with a newspaper publisher in exchange for tempered coverage

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Noni Mozes.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon (Noni) Mozes. Atef Safadi/AP and Moti Kimche

Israel Police is expected to recommend the prosecution of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Case 2000, in which a bribe between the premier and Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Noni Mozes is being investigated, Israel's Channel 2 reported on Friday night.

Netanyahu's former aide, now state's witness, Ari Harow, is thought to have had a key role in the Netanyahu-Mozes case. A number of recordings between the two were made on Harow's iPhone, with Harow himself participating in a portion of them. Netanyahu is thought to have indirectly asked Harow to examine how to go about a deal with the publisher.

>> Who is Ari Harow, the state's witness who could bring down Benjamin Netanyahu? >>

If Harow does indeed provide evidence that he acted on behalf of Netanyahu in order to close a deal, whereby critical coverage of the prime minister would be reduced in exchange for the limiting of rival newspaper, Israel Hayom, it would be a very significant development in the case that stands as the most severe out of the three that the prime minister is currently facing.

The Israel Police confirmed on Thursday that the prime minister is suspected of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Netanyahu's bureau rejected the allegations on Thursday, calling them "unfounded claims."

Harow, Netanyahu's former chief of staff reached an agreement with the prosecution to turn state's witness in two of the corruption cases against Netanyahu, case's 1000 and 2000.

Under the deal, Harow will be convicted of fraud and breach of trust in a separate case, but will avoid jail time. Instead, he will do community service as pay a 700,000-shekel ($193,000) fine.

Netanyahu offered his first response to the claims against him in a Facebook post on Friday. Speaking in a video he said: "There's no such thing as a week without a headline. I want to tell the citizens of Israel: I do not address background noises and I will continue to serve you."