Israeli police recommend indicting Netanyahu in telecom case

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing

They recommended Sara Netanyahu face charges of bribery, fraud, breach of trust and obstruction of evidence.

Mr Netanyahu denied the bribery allegations against him and his wife. It deals with the relationship between the Ministry of Communications - then under Netanyahu - and Israeli telecommunications firm Bezeq.

Bezeq telecom company's controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch, seen here in a Tel Aviv courtroom on February 22, 2018, is suspected of involvement in a scandal in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allegedly advanced regulatory decisions as communications minister that benefited Bezeq, in exchange for positive coverage on the company's Walla news site.

Former journalists at the Walla news site have attested to being pressured to refrain from negative reporting of Mr Netanyahu.

The two met on December 27, 2016, together with Ilan Yeshua, the CEO of the Elovitch-owned Walla news site, at Elovitch's northern Tel Aviv home, according to a recapping of the events in the Haaretz daily, citing police sources and the police document released on Sunday.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be charged with bribery and fraud, police have said.

The Israeli prime minister, however, dismissed the accusations against himself and his wife, saying the recommendations had already been determined "even before the investigations began".

The police's recommendation has triggered calls for Netanyahu to resign immediately.

"There was nothing because there is nothing", he concluded.

Israel's attorney general Avichai Mandelblit will make the final decision as to whether to indict the prime minister.

Mr Elovitch was chairman and controlling shareholder of Bezeq at the time of the allegations.

Investigators have questioned Netanyahu several times in connection with this case, partly based on the testimony of Nir Hefetz, a former adviser to the prime minister who turned witness.

He is also suspected of negotiating favorable press coverage with the Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes in Case 2000. "Elections now!" she said. "The people of Israel deserve clean leadership".

Meanwhile, head of the Labor Party Avi Gabbay, who also leads the center-left political alliance of Zionist Union, echoed Livni's call.

Mr Netanyahu held the government's communications portfolio until previous year and oversaw regulation in the field.

Under Israeli law, Netanyahu does not have to resign until he is convicted and that conviction is upheld through the appeals process.

"He'll send a message to the attorney general that everyone knew about these three police reports and they still voted for him and want him in power", Hazan said.

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