Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
State Attorney Shai Nitzan formally confirmed on Wednesday that he has recommended to Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit that he charge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with bribery in Case 4000, the “Bezeq-Walla affair.”
Speaking at a conference organized by the economic newspaper Globes, Nitzan revealed that his office had forwarded to Mandelblit its recommendations and that they were some 800 pages long.
“With the completion of the work of the State Attorney’s Office, deliberations will begin in the coming days with the attorney-general on the basis of our recommendations,” Nitzan said. “After the deliberations are complete, the attorney-general’s decision will be announced. We are making every effort to complete all the cases as soon as possible.”
The Jerusalem Post first reported in June that Mandelblit viewed Case 4000 as a bullet that Netanyahu could not dodge and as involving such substantial bribery that it could warrant toppling his government.
There were reports last month that Mandelblit would announce around the Passover holiday in April his recommendation to indict Netanyahu on bribery charges pending a hearing. But Channel 2 reported Wednesday that Mandelblit would make the announcement “far before Passover,” and Channel 1 reported that the decision would be announced “within two months.”
According to the Channel 2 report, Mandelblit has been “reading intensely and constantly” the recommendations of the state police and State Attorney’s Office against the prime minister.
Channel 10 reported Wednesday that while the State Attorney’s Office was confident in recommending bribery charges in Case 4000 and in Case 2000,
the “newspaper collusion affair,” it was less confident in Case 1000,
the “expensive gift affair.” The reason given was that indicting Netanyahu for bribery would mean also indicting Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, who has provided key information.
Netanyahu responded to Wednesday’s reports by saying that he is sure that examining the evidence will prove that there is nothing behind the charges against him.
Earlier Wednesday, at the Globes Conference, Netanyahu complained that “there has been undue pressure on – and even bullying of – the [legal] gatekeepers” in his cases, which he said “endangered democracy.”
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