Police Instructed to Wait With Recommending Charges Against Netanyahu

Attorney general tells police not to submit recommendations until top court rules on a petition against making them public

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem February 11, 2018
\ RONEN ZVULUN/ REUTERS

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit instructed the police on Sunday not to submit their recommendations about the investigations of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu until a ruling is made on a petition that was filed with the High Court of Justice against making them public.

The recommendations were supposed to be published by Tuesday.

Sources in law enforcement said Sunday that it would look like dishonest to publish the recommendations while the petition is still pending. On Monday, the state will ask the court to dismiss the petition, and the court is expected to rule on it in a few days, so the delay is not expected to take long.

The petition was filed by attorney Yossi Fuchs, an member of the Habayit Hayehudi party. Fuchs argues that although the law that restricts the issuing of police recommendations passed in December does not apply to the Netanyahu cases, the previous law also doesn’t permit the police to recommend prosecuting suspects.

Law enforcement officials said they expected the police to announce they have found enough evidence to charge Netanyahu with taking bribes in what the police call Case 1000 – which involves the prime minister’s alleged receipt of lavish gifts from businessmen.

They also expect police to recommend indicting Netanyahu in Case 2000, though the police haven’t decided whether to recommend charging him with bribery or breach of trust.

That case involves discussions between Netanyahu and Arnon Mozes, publisher of the daily Yedioth Ahronoth, in which Yedioth would grant Netanyahu favorable coverage in exchange for legislation to curb Yedioth’s main rival, Israel Hayom.