A lawmaker from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party claimed that "the left and the media are working together to dupe the police. This is an attempted coup - they want to take power away from us."
According to a recording of a statement made by MK Miki Zohar, the lawmaker claimed during a Knesset discussion that "there is an attempt to topple the prime minister, and not through the ballot box. The police are taking an active part in a process that the left and the media began." The recording was published by Israeli radio.
"The police want good headlines and are taking a holier-than-thou attitude, and are harming the prime minister without fear. The media is running this investigation," he said.
Police released recommendations early January to indict the prime minister on counts of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two corruption cases early February. This week, the State Prosecutor's Office linked him another case involving suspicions of bribery between government officials and telecom giant Bezeq.
In an earlier interview, Zohar theorized that the police were conspiring to oust the premier. "What we are seeing today is the political assassination of the prime minister which includes persecution," he said, adding that the deeds done in 1995 - in which Rabin was gunned down in Tel Aviv during a protest - are as grave now as they were then.
Netanyahu, Zohar noted, "hasn't had his life taken" but the premier and his family have been through "practically everything. It's murder, by every meaning of the word."