Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu 'should be charged' in third corruption case

Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrive for a news conference at the Ministry

Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrive for a news conference at the Ministry

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

Police said they have enough evidence to show Netanyahu and his wife Sara accepted bribes and committed fraud and breach of trust.

"The police recommendations regarding me and my wife don't surprise anyone", Netanyahu said in a statement.

The case surrounds suspicions that Netanyahu's government gave regulatory favours to telecoms company Bezeq in exchange for favourable coverage of the PM.

Police have already recommended indicting Netanyahu on corruption charges in two other cases.

The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing, dismissing the accusations as a witch hunt orchestrated by the media.

Police say their investigation includes the testimony of at least 60 witnesses and five years'work.

Both Netanyahu and Elovitch have denied any wrongdoing.

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In Case 1000, Netanyahu is suspected of having received gifts from businessmen overseas totaling 1 million shekels (approximately $280,000), including cigars, champagne, jewelry and more, from 2007 through 2016.

Israelis have been holding protests to demand the prime minister's resignation over the corruption scandals, but Netanyahu has described the events as part of efforts meant to topple him "at any cost".

Following the latest statement from police on Sunday, opposition politicians once again called on Netanyahu to resign.

Other opposition figures, including opposition leader Tzipi Livni, quickly joined in the call for Netanyahu to resign.

Netanyahu has also said he's innocent in those cases. In return, the police said, Mr. Netanyahu, who personally oversaw the communications ministry from 2014 to 2017, rewarded Bezeq with enormously lucrative concessions, including approval of its merger with Yes, a satellite television company, despite the objections of lower-level ministry officials.

The recommendations in February involved separate cases of alleged bribery, for which the attorney general is yet to decide whether to indict Netanyahu. The White House is trying to build a coalition of Middle Eastern leaders to deter Iran, to that end encouraging the warming of relations between Israel and Arab states that outwardly shun it and sidelining the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Those benefits included restricting competition in the Israeli ground-line phone market, among other decisions taken by Netanyahu in the years he served as communications minister.

"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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