Israeli police say there’s ‘sufficient evidence’ to bring bribery charges against Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli police say there’s ‘sufficient evidence’ to bring bribery charges against Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli police will recommend bribery charges against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He expected the police to recommend criminal charges, but predicted that the Israeli attorney general would not ultimately bring charges. (Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Israeli police announced it found “sufficient evidence” to bring charges against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in two cases of alleged corruption.

Haaretz reported that Netanyahu expected the police to recommend criminal charges, but predicted that Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit would not ultimately bring charges. The police stopped short of a recommendation for the charges, and stated merely that “sufficient evidence” existed for the charges, according to CNN.

The final decision on possible criminal charges rests with Mandelblit.

What is the first case?

The first case, called Case 1000, alleges that Netanyahu received lavish gifts from Israeli Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian businessman James Packer in exchange for political favors.

The gifts included cigars, pink champagne, jewelry, and trips valued at more than one million shekels, which is the equivalent of about $280,000.

Netanyahu said the gifts from the billionaires were tokens of their friendship.

What is the second case?

The second case, Case 2000, alleges the prime minister and Arnon Mozes, publisher of Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper in Tel Aviv, had an improper quid pro quo political relationship reached through verbal agreements, Haaretz reported.

Officials said Netanyahu agreed to limit circulation of a rival newspaper.

In turn, the prime minister would receive favorable coverage by Yedioth Ahronoth.

What else?

Netanyahu has questioned the credibility of the police and other officials involved in the cases.

He has served as prime minister since 2009.