Israel police recommend indicting Netanyahu in third graft probe

The recommendations in February involved separate cases of alleged bribery, for which the attorney general is yet to decide whether to indict Netanyahu.

In one, allegations against Netanyahu include seeking a secret deal with the publisher of Israel’s top-selling newspaper Yediot Aharonot to ensure positive coverage in return for pushing forward a law that would have limited the circulation of a rival.

The other case involves suspicions that the prime minister and his family received luxury gifts from wealthy individuals in exchange for financial or personal favours.

The gifts allegedly included pricey cigars, jewellery and champagne.

The total value of the gifts received is estimated at around one million shekels ($270,000), according to police.

Separately, police said earlier this month there was evidence to charge a Netanyahu lawyer and others with bribery in a corruption probe related to Israel’s purchase of German submarines.

While Netanyahu was questioned as a witness and not a suspect in the submarine case, the accusations against his lawyer and others in the investigation have only added to the pressure the prime minister is facing.

Netanyahu has been prime minister for a total of more than 12 years, from 1996 to 1999 and again since 2009. He could next year surpass the record set by Israel’s founding father David Ben-Gurion, who spent more than 13 years in office.

He is not legally required to step down if indicted – only if he is convicted with all appeals exhausted.

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