World News

Israeli police name Tata in case against Netanyahu

Israeli police name Tata in case against Netanyahu

"Neither me nor anyone else has plans for elections".

After a 14-month-long investigation, police announced that it found enough evidence to recommend the state's prosecution to indict 68-year-old Netanyahu.

One of the cases against Netanyahu, known as Case 1000, alleged the "committing of crimes of bribery, fraud and breach of trust" by the prime minister.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, a bitter rival of Netanyahu, called on him to suspend himself and for the coalition to appoint a replacement on Wednesday morning.

He acknowledged aiding Milchan with his visa issues, but said Milchan had done much for Israel and noted that the late Shimon Peres, had also been close with Milchan.

"Over the years, I have been the subject of at least 15 enquiries and investigations", Netanyahu said in the televised address, standing before four Israeli flags and appearing tense.

He added that he would continue as Prime Minister, and kept repeating what has become his catchphrase, "There will be nothing because there is nothing". "It's very simple", Gabbay said in a video interview with the Ynet news site. Avi Gabbay, leader of the opposition Labour party, said "the Netanyahu era is over".

" I am certain, as I have always been certain, and nothing has changed, that the truth will come to light and nothing will come of this". Netanyahu called the allegations baseless and vowed to complete his fourth term in office. His coalition partners, so far, have backed him, saying they will not take down the government over a police conclusion.

More news: Messenger Kids app received Facebook funding

When asked whether the prime minister should temporarily step down, almost half (49 percent) of the 495 respondents said Netanyahu should stay in office, while 43 percent said he should leave.

The decision on whether to press charges now rests with Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit. Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon's party rose two seats in the polls, from seven to nine. Yisrael Beiteinu holds on to its 6 seats. "I feel a deep obligation to continue to lead Israel in a way that will ensure our future", he said.

Police said in a statement that Netanyahu had accepted gifts valued at 750,000 shekels ($214,000) from billionaire film producer Arnon Milchan, and in exchange Netanyahu had operated on Milchan's behalf on USA visa matters and helped Milchan with the Israeli media market.

Following the announcement late on Tuesday, Netanyahu angrily rejected the accusations, which included accepting almost $300,000 in gifts from two billionaires. The merchandise was worth more than one million shekels (S$374,000) in total, investigators wrote.

Police recommended indicting Milchan and the publisher, Arnon Moses, with bribery as well.

The police announcement that Mr Netanyahu's acceptance of almost $US300,000 ($381,000) in gifts from two billionaires amounted to bribery sent shockwaves through the Israeli political system and delivered a humiliating blow to Mr Netanyahu after years of allegations and investigations.

Culture Minister Miri Regev said the gifts Netanyahu received from American billionaire Arnon Milchan that were cited in the bribery charge were merely "relations between friends". However, he could face public and political pressure to step down much earlier.


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