Netanyahu earlier last week defended his son’s demand for prostitute cash from scion of energy baron (AFP)
Israel’s police have recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be charged with corruption, according to local news reports.
Netanyahu who denies wrongdoing has been questioned several times since the start of 2017 and suspected of bribery in two other separate cases.
The Israeli police can only make a recommendation. The final decision to indict lies with Israel’s attorney general.
Netanyahu, who has been prime minister for a total of nearly 12 years, addressed the nation as the news broke on Tuesday night, proclaiming his innocence. Police declined to comment when contacted by AFP.
Last week, several Israeli outlets reported that Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich and other police chiefs “are in unanimous agreement that there is sufficient evidence to indict Netanyahu for taking bribes in case 1,000 or the so-called gifts affair.”
Police have been investigating Netanyahu over suspicions that he received expensive gifts, including pricey cigars, from wealthy supporters such as Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer.
His wife allegedly received bottles of pink champagne. The gifts were reportedly worth some tens of thousands of dollars
Even if eventually indicted, Netanyahu would not be obliged by law to resign as Prime Minister.
Netanyahu is under investigation in three corruption cases, which have been dubbed case 1,000, 2,000 and 3,000 by police.
The first case, 1,000, revolves around gifts from wealthy supporters including Australian billionaire James Packer.
The second case is concerned with suspicions that Netanyahu discussed a secret deal to help scale down the circulation of Israel Hayom newspaper in exchange for more favourable coverage in rival publication Yediot Aharonot.
The third case centres on fraudulent purchases of German submarines in a $1.5bn deal.
In a Facebook video posted last week, Netanyahu pleaded his innocence, saying “there won’t be anything”.
“At the end of the day, the legal entities will also reach this simple truth: there is nothing,” he said.