Sunday, Feb 25, 2018 | Last Update : 05:13 AM IST
Netanyahu shrugs off graft charges, says won’t resign.
Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected calls to step down Wednesday after police recommended his indictment for corruption, the biggest challenge yet to the right-wing Premier’s long tenure in power.
Mr Netanyahu came out swinging on Wednesday morning, harshly criticising the police investigation against him while making clear he has no intention of resigning.
Prime Minister for a total of nearly 12 years, Mr Netanyahu harshly denounced police report on allegations of bribery and fraud against him as “full of holes, like Swiss cheese.” The police report, he said, “misleads” and is “contrary to the truth and logic.” “I can reassure you that the coalition is stable. Neither me nor anyone else has plans for elections. We’re going to continue to work together for the good of Israeli citizens until the end of the term,” Mr Netanyahu said at an event in Tel Aviv.
Police recommended on Tuesday that he be indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of public trust after a long-running investigation. The attorney general must now decide how to move forward with the case, a process that could take months. A PM facing such police recommendations or who has been formally charged is not obliged to resign. As it became clear police were to issue the recommendations on Tuesday night, Mr Netanyahu gave a televised address to the nation, proclaiming his innocence and criticising the police. Police have been investigating Mr Netanyahu over suspicions that he and his family received expensive gifts from Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer. The gifts — pricey cigars, jewellery and champagne — are estimated to be worth around $283,000.