Top Prosecutors Slam Israel Police Over 'Frenzy to Recommend' Charging Netanyahu

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh.Credit: Gil Eliahu

Senior attorneys in the State Prosecutor’s Office were scathingly critical of the police’s handling of the recommendations to prosecute Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for bribery in Cases 1,000 and 2,000, the Israel Television News Company reported Wednesday.

According to the report, the senior prosecutors said that not everything stated in the recommendations is backed by evidence and “The frenzy to publish the recommendations isn’t clear to us. They’ve inflated this balloon to the end.”

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Guy Peleg reported that the prosecution is accusing the police of making it seem as if Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit delayed the release of the recommendations.

“The police wrote a check they won’t have to pay,” Peleg quoted sources in the prosecution as saying.

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“Not everything claimed in the recommendations is backed by evidence. They’ve put the attorney general in an impossible position. But any backtracking from the recommendations now will appear to be a surrender.”

The report said that the prosecution believes the files are not complete at this stage and that there were certainly need to be further investigations.

The prosecutors were also reportedly critical of the police for giving the investigation files to Mendelblit only a day before issuing the recommendations.

>>  Police say Netanyahu received gifts worth 1 million shekels ■ In return, he assisted Hollywood producer Milchan with tax breaks, his U.S. visa and his media interests ■ In a separate case, Netanyahu promoted a media mogul's interests in return for positive coverage >>

The two cases for which police recommended that Netanyahu be prosecuted for corruption are the so-called Case 1,000 — in which Netanyahu is suspected of accepting gifts of Champagne, cigars, jewelry and clothing worth some 1 million shekels (now around $283,000) from wealthy benefactors in return for advancing their interests — and Case 2,000, which alleges that Netanyahu tried to strike a deal with Yedioth Ahronoth’s publisher get positive coverage in Israel’s second largest newspaper in exchange for Netanyahu taking steps to undermine its free rival, Israel Hayom.

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