Israel's police chiefs to recommend indicting Netanyahu

Frederick Owens
February 9, 2018

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu slammed Israel Police Chief Roni Alshich after the latter held a meeting Wednesday to discuss whether police will recommend that the prime minister be indicted on corruption charges.

Netanyahu, now serving his fourth term as Prime Minister, has been named as a suspect in two separate criminal investigations, known as Case 1000 and Case 2000.

A government committee had determined that the export of cannabis would bring between 285 million to $1.14 billion a year to the Israeli economy, according to the report.

However, the Attorney General will make the final decision on pressing charges.

Alsheich further claimed that "powerful figures" had hired private investigators to collect information about the police investigators in the Netanyahu cases, apparently to personally discredit them once the recommendations emerged.

"A large shadow was cast tonight over the police investigations and their recommendations related to Prime Minister Netanyahu".

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He also referred to claims that sexual harassment allegations against the head of the unit investigating Netanyahu were an attempt to smear him because of the graft probe. "Any sane person would look at these comments and ask how the police chief would be able to conduct an impartial investigation of the prime minister".

Netanyahu has been questioned seven times by police over the allegations. Its last four prime ministers have all been probed, and police recommended indicting Ariel Sharon while he was in office, although the attorney general dropped the case.

The Prime Minister has consistently denied the charges, arguing that there is nothing illegal about accepting gifts from his friends. He repeated that in a video posted to Facebook on Wednesday. Only if he is convicted - and once any such conviction is upheld throughout the appeals process - would Netanyahu be forced to resign.

Parliament, however, could also enact a special procedure against him before his case is exhausted if he is found to be guilty of moral turpitude.

Response by Netanyahu's political rivals has been sharp. He was freed from prison in July after being granted parole from a 27-month sentence.

But Netanyahu hit the pause button after being presented with data from Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan regarding the "spillover of medical cannabis into the recreational market", Haaretz Newspaper reported. "But I am positive that at the end of the day the authorities will agree with me - that there is no case".

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