Netanyahu trumpets his innocence as investigations against him proceed

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed his innocence Wednesday night in a video posted on social media,...

Posted: Feb 8, 2018 9:11 AM
Updated: Feb 8, 2018 9:11 AM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed his innocence Wednesday night in a video posted on social media, while at the same time acknowledging local media reports that police are set to recommend his indictment in an ongoing graft probe.

Addressing the investigation into him, Netanyahu said, "Qualified legal experts will arrive at one conclusion of the simple truth. There is nothing."

This latest dismissal of the accusations against him, which have seen him questioned at least seven times in the investigation, echo his oft-repeated statement: "There will be nothing because there is nothing."

Referencing the media reports, broadcast on Israeli television Wednesday evening, of an imminent police recommendation to indict, the Prime Minister sought to reassure his Facebook fans that he knew exactly how things would unfold: "The recommendations will come. Signs that read 'Netanyahu is guilty until proven innocent' will come. There will be improper pressure; that will also come."

Dismissing the chance that he would step down if police recommend an indictment, Netanyahu said, "half the recommendations from police end in nothing.'

Case 1000 and 2000

Netanyahu, currently serving his fourth term as Prime Minister, has been named as a suspect in two separate criminal investigations, known as Case 1000 and Case 2000. The cases involve allegations of fraud, bribery and breach of trust, according to police.

In Case 1000, Netanyahu is suspected of having received gifts from businessmen overseas, including cigars for himself and champagne for his wife, Sara. The case has focused primarily on Netanyahu's relationship with billionaire Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, though the investigation has expanded to include other wealthy businessmen with ties to Netanyahu.

In Case 2000, police have been investigating conversations Netanyahu had with Arnon Mozes, the owner of one of Israel's leading newspapers, Yedioth Ahronoth, which is regularly critical of the Prime Minister.

In the conversations, transcripts of which have been leaked in the Israeli media, Netanyahu allegedly discusses limiting the circulation of Yedioth Ahronot's major competitor in favor of more favorable coverage. Both Netanyahu and Mozes have said they were not serious discussions; rather, they each claim they were trying to expose the other's lack of trustworthiness.

A third case, known as Case 3000, has entangled many in Netanyahu's inner circle, but the Prime Minister has not been named a suspect in the case, which involves Israel's purchase of submarines from Germany.

Perhaps the biggest blow to Netanyahu came last summer when his former chief of staff, American-born Ari Harow, agreed to testify against him. Harow, who served under the Prime Minister when he was elected in 2009, agreed to provide evidence in both cases. As part of the deal, Harow agreed to plead guilty of committing fraud and breach of trust in an entirely separate case.

Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, a Netanyahu appointee, has been accused of dragging his feet on the investigations. Mandelblit has insisted they will progress at their own pace, free from outside influence. Anti-corruption protests in Tel Aviv have become more common, and thousands of demonstrators have called on Netanyahu to step down.

As well as regularly protesting his innocence, the Prime Minister has frequently gone on the attack, railing against the media, police, the courts and his political opponents on the left, accusing them all of trying to topple the government because, he says, they can't beat him in an election.

Decision rests with attorney general

Even after police issue any possible recommendation to indict, it will be up to Attorney General Mandelblit to decide whether to follow that recommendation.

In Netanyahu's first term as Prime Minister in the late '90s, police issued a recommendation to indict in two different graft probes. In both cases, the attorney general at the time decided there was not sufficient evidence for an indictment.

Netanyahu has predicted the same outcome this time.

Even if the attorney general does eventually choose to indict, Netanyahu would not need to step down under Israeli law. Only if he is convicted -- and once any such conviction is upheld throughout the appeals process -- would Netanyahu be forced to resign. However, he could face tremendous public and political pressure to step down long before that.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30900

Reported Deaths: 1111
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds249840
DeSoto159416
Madison130034
Jones112449
Neshoba98871
Rankin93412
Harrison91211
Lauderdale90979
Forrest86942
Scott77115
Jackson62216
Copiah60215
Washington5849
Leake57819
Holmes55341
Lee54718
Wayne54513
Oktibbeha54126
Warren51518
Yazoo5096
Leflore48751
Grenada4835
Lowndes48313
Lincoln46034
Lamar4587
Pike43112
Monroe40130
Lafayette3914
Sunflower3727
Attala36023
Covington3565
Panola3506
Newton3399
Bolivar33414
Simpson3173
Adams31118
Pontotoc2866
Tate28310
Marion28111
Chickasaw27718
Claiborne27410
Noxubee2638
Jasper2626
Winston2616
Pearl River25432
Clay25010
Marshall2323
Smith21811
Clarke20724
Union2079
Coahoma2016
Walthall1995
Kemper17914
Lawrence1772
Yalobusha1707
Carroll16511
Humphreys1479
Tallahatchie1364
Itawamba1358
Montgomery1322
Calhoun1304
Tippah13011
Hancock12813
Webster12710
Jefferson Davis1114
Prentiss1083
Jefferson1073
Greene1058
Tunica1003
Wilkinson949
Amite912
George883
Tishomingo801
Quitman760
Choctaw744
Alcorn692
Perry664
Stone651
Franklin452
Sharkey370
Benton360
Issaquena91
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 44375

Reported Deaths: 984
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5221152
Montgomery4127103
Mobile4080134
Tuscaloosa228842
Marshall171110
Madison14307
Lee138437
Shelby128423
Morgan11025
Walker93924
Elmore92514
Franklin89514
Dallas8809
Baldwin8649
Etowah73913
DeKalb7195
Butler63328
Chambers62927
Autauga60712
Tallapoosa59169
Russell5520
Unassigned50323
Houston4964
Limestone4950
Lauderdale4906
Lowndes47221
Cullman4524
Pike4295
Colbert3956
St. Clair3822
Coffee3772
Bullock36910
Covington3587
Calhoun3545
Escambia3506
Barbour3492
Hale31121
Talladega3097
Marengo30211
Wilcox2918
Dale2880
Sumter28512
Clarke2746
Jackson2732
Winston2583
Chilton2462
Blount2351
Monroe2352
Pickens2356
Marion22413
Conecuh2097
Randolph2069
Choctaw19512
Macon1949
Bibb1901
Greene1868
Perry1771
Henry1343
Crenshaw1253
Washington1097
Lawrence1080
Cherokee977
Geneva800
Lamar771
Fayette701
Clay652
Coosa581
Cleburne361
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Few Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 83°
Columbus
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 75°
Oxford
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Starkville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather