Israeli police recommend two charges of bribery against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, local media reported Tuesday.
The recommended indictment is a result of a 14-month investigation into allegations that the prime minister committed “fraud, breach of trust, and bribes.”
Netanyahu stands accused of accepting over $100,000 in gifts from Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan and others. Netanyahu also allegedly asked for positive news coverage by an Israeli publication in exchange for hurting its rival, a free pro-Netanyahu daily.
“He tried to strike a deal that would have provided him with positive coverage in Israel’s second largest newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, in exchange for hurting its free rival, Israel Hayom,” Haaretz reported.
“The publisher of Yedioth Ahronoth, Arnon Mozes, will also be charged, as will Arnon Milchan, who allegedly provided Netanyahu with gifts,” the newspaper added. “Netanyahu will address the public in a live broadcast at 8:45 P.M.”
According to the Associated Press, the potential charges do not directly threaten Netanyahu’s position in the immediate future but could hasten the public calls for him to step down.
The attorney general must now decide whether to file charges in the cases.
Six months ago, Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, Ari Harow, made a deal with prosecutors to become a state’s witness in corruption cases against the prime minister.
Netanyahu’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, is also the subject of an investigation. Police recommended in September that she be indicted for fraud charges over spending irregularities totaling more than $110,000 at the prime minister’s residence.
Meanwhile, the prime minister has allegedly crafted an ongoing public campaign questioning his investigators’ credibility.
Both the prime minister and his wife have repeatedly denied all of the allegations.
Police Commissioner Inspector General Roni Alsheich has publicly implied that Netanyahu hired private investigators to collect damaging information about police officers involved in the case, according to The Jerusalem Post.