Netanyahu govt safe for now despite bribery row
JERUSALEM: Key coalition partners said on Wednesday they would stick with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for now, pending a decision by the attorney general whether or not to indict him for bribery as recommended by police.
A decision could take months and Netanyahu’s government appeared stable for the time being. The right-wing premier has strongly denied the police allegations, calling them “full of holes, like Swiss cheese”.
“I want to reassure you, the coalition is stable. No one, not I, not anyone else, has plans to go to an election,” Netanyahu told a conference in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, the day after police made their recommendations public. “We will continue to work with you...until the end of the term,” he said. Police on Tuesday said they had found sufficient evidence for Netanyahu to be charged with bribery.
Ratan Tata figures in Israeli police recommendations to indict Netanyahu, according to an Israeli media report.
In the so-called Case 1000, Netanyahu and his wife Sara are sus- pected of receiving illicit gifts from billionaire benefactors such as Israel-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan. Ynetnews reported Netanyahu tried to push a free trade zone that Milchan “sought to promote as part of his partnership with” Tata.
Commenting on the report, the industrialist’s office told PTI that it was “grossly incorrect in its references about Mr Ratan N Tata”.
Last year, the Israeli media reported Tata had “testified” before Israeli police in connection with these allegations during a trip to Tel Aviv in October-november. A statement sent to PTI by Tata’s office did not deny the meeting between him and Israeli officials but added the reports in Israeli media on the contents of the meeting were “factually incorrect and appear to have been motivated”.
The video showing the Xray scan has gone viral