Police Recommendations on Charges Against Netanyahu Expected Next Week

On Wednesday, a meeting will be convened where to decide whether or not police recommend charging the prime minister

File: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli businessman Arnon Milchan in 2005.
David Silverman / Getty Images

The police are expected to send the summary of their investigation against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the prosecutor’s office next week and release their recommendations on whether there is sufficient evidence to indict him.

In recent weeks, investigators wrapped up their work in the two cases dubbed Case 1000 and Case 2000; the recommendations are expected by Tuesday.

The first case involves allegations that Netanyahu and his family received lavish gifts from leading business figures including Israeli-born Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan, raising suspicions that the businessmen received something in return.

The second case involves allegations that Netanyahu negotiated with the publisher of the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, Arnon Mozes, over possible changes in government policy that would benefit Yedioth in exchange for favorable coverage of the prime minister.

Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing, saying that there is nothing illegal about accepting gifts from friends, and that he never intended to follow through with proposed steps discussed with Mozes. The final police investigative work in that case involved the questioning of Yedioth employees.

Also questioned by the police recently was MK Eitan Cabel (Zionist Union), who sponsored a bill that would have made it illegal to distribute a full-size newspaper free of charge. The only newspaper that would have been affected by the bill was Israel Hayom, and the legislation would have helped the newspaper’s major competitor, Yedioth.

On Wednesday, the head of the Israel Police, Roni Alsheich, is expected to meet with police investigators to finalize the recommendations in the cases, not only concerning Netanyahu but also other suspects including Milchan, Mozes and Cabel.

“The meeting will end only when white smoke comes out,” a police source said, referring to the procedure when a new pope is chosen.