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Israel police recommend indictment of Netanyahu

[JURIST] The Israeli police force said Monday that they have enough evidence to indict [press release, in Hebrew] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [official website], who has allegedly accepted bribes in two separate cases and acted against the interests of the public.

The first case, called "Case 1000," reportedly concerns [Haaretz report] whether Netanyahu accepted gifts from prominent figures in return for advancing and protecting their interests in Israel. The gifts allegedly total to approximately USD $280,000 and include champagne, clothing, and jewelry. The gifts are said to have been given by Armom Milchan, an Israeli-American movie producer. In exchange for the gifts, Netanyahu attempted to pass a law that would have given large tax breaks to individuals returning to Israel after living abroad, a move which may have saved Milchan millions of dollars.

In the second, known as "Case 2000," Netanyahu is alleged to have reached an agreement with Yedioth Ahronoth, the nation's second-largest newspaper, in order to secure positive coverage in exchange for undermining Israel Haymon [media websites], the paper's primary rival.

After the police made their announcement, Netanyahu made a televised statement [Haaretz report] in which he said that the recommendation to indict him had "no weight" and that he never did anything against the interests of his country. Netanyahu also stated that he will not be stepping down.

The final decision whether to indict him will be made by Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

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