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Israeli police say there’s enough evidence to indict Benjamin Netanyahu in a third corruption case

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu attend a remembrance ceremony at the Paneriai Holocaust Memorial near Vilnius, August 24, 2018 (Photo PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM — Israeli police said on Sunday that there is enough evidence to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a third corruption investigation.

According to a police statement, authorities found evidence of fraud, bribery, and breach of trust.

Police also said there is enough evidence to charge the Israeli leader’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, with fraud, receiving bribes, and interfering with an investigation.

The case, known as Case 4000, is one of the largest facing the Israeli leader and his inner circle. It deals with the relationship between the Ministry of Communications — then under Netanyahu — and Israeli telecommunications firm Bezeq.

Investigators say Netanyahu advanced regulatory benefits worth up to 1 billion shekels (approximately $280 million) to Shaul Elovitch, the controlling shareholder of Bezeq, and Netanyahu’s friend. In exchange, prosecutors say Elovitch gave Netanyahu favorable news coverage in online news site Walla! News, which is owned by Elovitch.

Police say there is enough evidence to charge Elovitch with bribery, interfering with an investigation, and financial crimes.

Both Netanyahu and Elovitch have denied any wrongdoing.

In response to the police findings, Netanyahu said, “The police recommendations against me and my wife do not surprise anyone. These recommendations were decided and leaked before the investigation had even begun. The police recommendations have no legal standing.”

“There was nothing because there is nothing,” he concluded.

Police have already said there is enough evidence to indict Netanyahu on charges of fraud, bribery, and breach of trust in two separate cases. A final decision whether to prosecute lies with Israel’s Attorney General.

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