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15 Febrero 2018, 09:11 | Crisanna Felipe
Netanyahu feels the end is near
In an address to the nation before the announcement, Netanyahu said the investigation into his alleged corruption has amounted to slander against him and his family.
In his first statement, Netanyahu did not outright deny claims of receiving lavish gifts. Only for the good of the state.
On Tuesday evening Israeli police told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's legal counsel that they will be recommending that the Prime Minister be accused and tried for charges of fraud in both files that are open against him, known as file 1000 and file 2000.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected calls to step down on Wednesday after police recommended his indictment for corruption, the biggest challenge yet to the right-wing premier's long tenure in power.
The recommended charges are the result of two separate yearlong investigations.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, head of the center-right Kulanu party, which has 10 seats in the coalition, said he would continue in his role for the time being.
The value of the gifts, allegedly from the two businessmen and their representatives, amount to approximately $US282,000.
Netanyahu has maintained his innocence over the course of the investigations, saying on more than one occasion, "There will be nothing because there is nothing".
The gifts included champagne, cigars, jewelry and clothing and were given in return for help getting Milchan a U.S. visa, The Jerusalem Post reported.
However, Mickey Levy, a former senior police officer and now an MK in Lapid's party, said Lapid was legally obligated to testify when required to do by police.
The report did not allege any benefits given to Packer by Netanyahu. Netanyahu's lawyers said the presents in the case were simply tokens of friendship.
Mr Netanyahu's time as premier is fast approaching Israel's revered founding father David Ben-Gurion's 13 years, and he has shown himself to be a shrewd politician. Its plot reads like one of Milchan's own films, centering around hush-hush gifts of expensive pink champagne, thousand-dollar cigars and face time with Hollywood elite in exchange for tax breaks worth billions of shekels.
Mozes allegedly offered more favorable coverage to Netanyahu's camp in exchange.
Milchan and Mozes also will be charged.
Last week, several Israeli outlets reported that Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich and other police chiefs "are in unanimous agreement that there is sufficient evidence to indict Netanyahu for taking bribes in case 1,000 or the so-called gifts affair".
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