Israeli police recommend Netanyahu and his wife be charged with corruption

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Investigators recommended that Netanyahu's wife, Sara, be indicted on bribery charges, too, but the prime minister said the couple would be cleared.

In February, police recommended indicting Mr Netanyahu in two other corruption investigations.

"I'm sure that in this case the relevant authorities, after examining the issue, will reach the same conclusion: that there was nothing because there is nothing".

The police have already urged that charges be brought against Netanyahu in two other cases: In Case 1000, Netanyahu is suspected of unlawfully accepting gifts from billionaire friends, while in Case 2000, the prime minister is believed to have negotiated favorable press coverage with the owner of the popular Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth (Ynet).

The Bezeq case, known as Case 4000, is the most serious of all those of which Mr Netanyahu has been accused.

Earlier this year, investigators also recommended that Netanyahu be tried for allegedly taking almost $300,000 worth of gifts including expensive cigars and champagne from wealthy friends including Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer.

They also recommended to charge Sara Netanyahu with bribery, fraud and breach of trust, and for "disruption of investigative and judicial proceedings".

In return, Bezeq's subsidiary news site, Walla, allegedly provided positive Netanyahu coverage. Netanyahu held the government's communications portfolio until past year and oversaw regulation in the field.

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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".

The police also said there was sufficient evidence to indict Mr Elovitch for giving bribes.

It is claimed Netanyahu and his advisers supported regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to telecom company Bezeq.

The three cases involving the long-serving premier have led to speculation over whether he will eventually have to step down.

Netanyahu's colleagues in the ruling Likud party have lined up behind up, attacking outgoing Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh for releasing the recommendation on his last day on the job.

Israel's attorney general will decide whether to go forward with charges.

Talk of early elections has become a staple of Israel's political landscape in recent months, but polls have shown the cascade of allegations against Netanyahu wouldn't cost him a fifth term.

Elections are now scheduled for November 2019.

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