Prosecutor's Office Recommends Indicting Netanyahu for Bribery in Two Corruption Cases

State Prosecutor's Office recommends charge of bribery in Case 2000 and Case 4000 ■ Netanyahu: 'Leaks to media are meant to apply wrongful pressure to indict me'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem on December 16, 2018.
AFP

A team of attorneys working on behalf of the State Prosecutor's Office recommended on Wednesday to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for bribery charges in two corruption cases, known as Cases 2000 and 4000.

The state prosecutor is likely to charge Netanyahu for breach of trust in his third corruption probe, dubbed Case 1000.

Earlier Wednesday, State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan said the team working on the cases completed its assessment, and that deliberations at the attorney general's office would commence in the coming days.

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In Case 2000, Netanyahu is accused of offering the publisher of the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth Arnon Mozes advantageous government media policy in return for favorable news coverage.

Case 4000 involves suspicions that Netanyahu, in his capacity as communications minister from 2014 to 2017, intervened with regulators to help telecom tycoon Bezeq with a deal worth some 1 billion shekels to its owner, Shaul Elovitch.

In exchange, Elovitch, a long-time friend of Netanyahu’s, allegedly ordered the Bezeq-owned news site Walla to provide favorable coverage of the prime minister and his wife, Sara.  

Case 1000 alleges Netanyahu and his wife received lavish gifts from Israeli Hollywood entertainment magnate Arnon Milchan and Australian businessman James Packer as bribes for beneficial legislation and personal favors.

According to Nitzan, the attorney general will discuss "the complex ethical and legal issues that arise from these cases based on the opinions he will hear in order to make a decision."

Nitzan also said that the opinion drafted by the prosecutor's office is 800 pages long. Despite the fact that police published its recommendations on Case 4000 only two weeks ago, the preparation of the opinion on this case started earlier.

As Haaretz reported previously, in recent weeks officials held a series of meetings to discuss the cases, and reached final understandings in recent days. Nitzan added that "after the end of the discussions, the recommendation of the attorney general will  be published alongisde my own recommendation."

A comment issued by the Prime Minister's Office read: "The leaks and the media pressure are meant this time as well to apply wrongful pressure in order to file indictments against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at any price. We are certain that an examination of the evidence while ignoring the background noises will prove that there's nothing [to the allegations]."