Quantcast
Connect with us

Netanyahu’s legal troubles mount as police seek new bribery charges

Published

on

Israeli police on Sunday said they had found enough evidence for bribery and fraud charges to be brought against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife in a third corruption case against the Israeli leader.

Authorities allege Netanyahu awarded regulatory favors to Israel’s leading telecommunications company, Bezeq Telecom Israel (BEZQ.TA), in return for more positive coverage of him and his wife on a news website, Walla, owned by the company. Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing.

ADVERTISEMENT

If indicted, the four-term prime minister would be facing one of the greatest challenges to his political survival. Despite his dominance of Israeli politics, the newest police recommendation comes just after his right-wing coalition’s majority was reduced to a precarious one seat in parliament.

The final decision on whether to indict rests with Israel’s attorney-general, who is still weighing whether to charge Netanyahu in the other two cases.

Those relate to allegations that Netanyahu accepted gifts from businessmen and that he tried to strike a deal with a different media mogul for better coverage in return for curbs on a competing newspaper.

Most of Netanyahu’s coalition partners have said they will wait for a decision by the attorney-general before making any decisions about how to react to the allegations.

ADVERTISEMENT

Some analysts have said Netanyahu could call a snap vote in light of the legal proceedings against him. The next national election is not due until November 2019. But Netanyahu may want to seek a renewed mandate from the people, forcing a prosecutor to think twice before indicting him.

Netanyahu has said he wants his coalition to keep going until the end of its term, but politicians close to him say that given the coalition’s shaky razor-thin majority, an early election is likely.

In Sunday’s joint statement with the Israel Securities Authority, police said they also found sufficient evidence to charge Shaul Elovitch, a family friend of Netanyahu, with bribery.

ADVERTISEMENT

At the time Elovitch was chairman and controlling shareholder of Bezeq. The authorities said there was also evidence to charge the company’s then-CEO Stella Handler with fraud.

Elovitch and Handler have denied wrongdoing. They were both arrested and detained briefly earlier this year and have resigned from Bezeq.

In their statement, the authorities said: “The main suspicion is that the prime minister took bribes and acted out of a conflict of interest by intervening and making regulatory decisions that favor Shaul Elovitch and Bezeq.” It alleged that Netanyahu sought to interfere with content of Bezeq’s Walla website “in a way that would benefit him.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Netanyahu served as communications minister from 2015 to 2017.

The police also recommended that charges of fraud and breach of trust be brought against Netanyahu and his wife.

Shortly after the police recommendations were made public, Netanyahu issued a statement saying that the allegations had no legal basis and that ultimately nothing would come of the investigation.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I am sure that also in this case the relevant authorities, after examining the matter, will reach the same conclusion – that there was nothing because there is nothing,” he said.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

LAX customs officer calls journalist ‘fake news’ and demands to know if he works for CNN or MSNBC: report

Published

on

On Thursday, Empire Magazine's James Dyer stated in a Twitter thread that he was stopped by a customs official while arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, aggressively interrogated about his journalistic career, and accused of being "fake news":

Wow. Just... wow. Just went through LAX immigration. Presented my journalist visa and was stopped by the CBP agent and accused of being part of the ‘fake news media’.

— James Dyer (@jamescdyer) August 22, 2019

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s State Department busted helping Rudy Giuliani dig up campaign dirt against Joe Biden

Published

on

The State Department assisted President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, in setting up a meeting with a Ukrainian official to “strongly urge” the new administration in Ukraine to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

Giuliani backed out of a planned trip to Kiev earlier this year that was meant to dig up dirt on Biden. But the New York Times now reports the former New York mayor instead traveled to Madrid to meet with a top aide to new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, with help from the State Department.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

How Democrats missed a key 15-day ‘window’ to get Trump’s taxes — and they may now be blocked until after 2020

Published

on

When Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives in 2018, they pledged to start holding President Donald Trump accountable — including, notably, by obtaining his tax returns. But House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal has been reluctant to aggressively use his authority in demanding the documents, as a new Washington Post report revealed Thursday, allowing the president and the administration to persist in its lawless refusal to comply.

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image