Israeli police have submitted their recommendation to the Public Prosecutor’s Office that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be prosecuted for corruption, according to the Middle East Monitor. The recommendation, submitted after the investigation into what is known as the Bezeq Case, also known as Case 4000, will be the third recommendation for prosecution against Netanyahu, following similar recommendations in Case 1000 and Case 2000. Sara Netanyahu, the wife of the prime minister, will also be investigated for her suspected involvement in the Bezeq case.
The Bezeq Case is an investigation into Netanyahu’s alleged dealings with Shaul Elovitch, the head of telecoms giant Bezeq Communications and owner of the news website Walla. Netanyahu allegedly made a deal with Elovitch to trade government favors and services in exchange for positive coverage from the news media under Elovitch’s control. The arrangement, allegedly made while Netanyahu was the communications minister, is said to have earned Bezeq hundreds of millions of dollars.
The other two cases which have resulted in recommendations for prosecution from the Israeli police involve corruption for both financial and political gain. In one case, Netanyahu has been accused of accepting lavish gifts from a pair of businessmen in exchange for favorable legislation and personal favors. In the other, Netanyahu is accused of making a special arrangement with the owner of Israeli newspaper Yedioth Aronoth, Arnon Mozes, to curtail the circulation of a rival publication in exchange for favorable coverage from Mozes’ paper.
In addition to the three recommendations for prosecution, Netanyahu is under investigation in a fourth case involving his lawyer and cousin, David Shimron, as well as a number of other confidants. Shimron and Netanyahu are accused of arranging lucrative defense contracts that resulted in substantial financial benefits. Shimron lobbied defense officials for the purchase of $2 billion in submarines from German contractor ThyssenKryupp, in which he and others would personally reap financial benefits. One of Netanyahu’s confidants, Nir Hefetz, has become a witness for the state and has assisted the Israeli police with their investigations.
Sara Netanyahu has already been charged with fraud after a protracted investigation into her alleged forging of family expenses.
Israeli law demands that any government minister that is officially charged with corruption must resign immediately. Netanyahu continues to proclaim his innocence, arguing that the investigations are the result of a broad conspiracy by the news media and his opponents to overthrow Netanyahu’s government.
Netanyahu said that he is sure the case will be closed without any indictments being brought against him.