Yet Another Netanyahu Investigator Recommends Corruption Indictment: Report

Anders Hagstrom | Justice Reporter

An Israeli prosecution team for two corruption cases recommended indictments against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a report cited by the Jerusalem Post.

Economic Crimes Division Director Liat Ben-Ari, who reportedly recommended the bribery indictment, has previously stated that “there is no such thing as gifts which are too small” to criminally investigate, according to JPost. Netanyahu has been accused of taking bribes in excess of $250,000 in exchange for regulatory favors between 2014 and 2017.

The Israeli Justice Department would not confirm or deny the recommendations, reported JPost.

The final decision on the indictment falls to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, however, and Mandelblit said he will announce any indictments for Netanyahu’s corruption cases at the same time, irrespective of when investigators’ recommendations come in. He is reportedly likely to indict on at least one.

“When we are referring to presents worth hundreds of thousands of shekels, it is hard for me to accept that we are talking solely about presents between friends,” Ben-Ari said at an Israel Bar Association conference in 2017.

Ben-Ari’s recommendation relates specifically to Case 2000, which alleges Netanyahu sought to win more favorable media coverage from the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper by offering to squelch the circulation of one of its rivals.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compliments U.S. President Donald Trump on having been the first sitting U.S. president to leave a prayer at the Western Wall, during remarks at the Yad Vashem holocaust memorial in Jerusalem May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compliments U.S. President Donald Trump.REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Netanyahu’s wife was indicted in June for fraud and breach of trust after allegedly paying for restaurant meals and private chefs with state money. The general commissioner of Israeli police and multiple police chiefs recommended the prime minister’s indictment as early as February, a decision that Netanyahu called “delusional.” (RELATED: OPINION: Why Israel? Because Iran)

Police questioned Netanyahu over yet another corruption scandal in June regarding Israel’s $2 billion purchase of German Thyssenkrupp submarines, though he was not a suspect in the case.

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