Israel police recommend PM Netanyahu be charged with bribery

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The country's attorney general will now decide on whether to prosecute, with no announcement expected before the end of next year.

The Israelis have been holding protests to demand the prime minister's resignation over the corruption scandals, but Netanyahu has described the events as part of efforts meant to topple him "at any cost".

The Israeli Prime Minister is accused of interfering in regulatory decisions in favour of the Bezeq group and it's chief shareholder Shaul Elovitch - in exchange for favorable reporting on the Walla news website.

Those relate to allegations that Netanyahu accepted gifts from businessmen and that he tried to strike a deal with a different media mogul for better coverage in return for curbs on a competing newspaper.

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Police say the investigation, which included the testimony of 60 witnesses, revealed that Netanyahu and Bezeq boss Shaul Elovitch engaged in a "bribe-based relationship".

Police said they have enough evidence to show Netanyahu and his wife Sara accepted bribes and committed fraud and breach of trust.

Responding to the latest allegations, Mr Netanyahu tweeted: "These recommendations were determined and leaked even before the investigations began".

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

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The Jerusalem Post reported earlier this year that the gifts included champagne and cigars, and were given in exchange for help getting Mr Milchan a USA visa.

Netanyahu has dismissed the accusations as a witch-hunt.

Netanyahu has said he wants his coalition to keep going until the end of its term, but politicians close to him say that given the coalition's shaky razor-thin majority, an early election is likely.

The next legislative poll is scheduled for November 2019.

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From 2012 to 2017 the prime minister and his associates "blatantly intervened" on a near-daily basis in the Walla news site, using the connections with Elovitch to influence appointments there and to promote flattering articles and pictures while quelling critical stories of the prime minister and his family, police said.

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