UPDATE: Israel PM says recommendations to indict 'nothing'

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JERUSALEM (AP) — 9:05 p.m.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Photo Date: 6/27/2016 / U.S. Department of State / MGN

Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, says police recommendations to indict him on corruption charges "will end with nothing."

In a nationwide TV address, a stern-looking Netanyahu denied allegations that he accepted lavish gifts, including champagne and expensive cigars, from Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan in exchange for doing favors. He also is suspected of offering preferential treatment to a newspaper publisher in exchange for favorable coverage.

Netanyahu said his lengthy political career has been solely "for the good of the nation." He accused police of being on a witch hunt against him and vowed to remain in office. He wrapped up by vowing to stay in office and run for re-election.

The police recommendations now go to the attorney general, who will decide whether to press charges.

But Tuesday's report is deeply embarrassing to Netanyahu and could fuel calls for him to step aside.

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8:25 p.m.

Israeli media are reporting that police have recommended indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a pair of corruption cases.

The reported recommendations Tuesday night do not immediately threaten Netanyahu, but they are deeply embarrassing and could fuel calls for him to step aside.

For months, police have been investigating two cases. In one probe, Netanyahu reportedly received over $100,000 in gifts from Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan and other wealthy supporters.

The other is over secret talks with the publisher of a major Israeli newspaper in which Netanyahu allegedly requested positive coverage in exchange for reining in a free pro-Netanyahu daily.

Channels 10 and 2 TV and the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz newspapers reported police recommended indictments in both cases. The attorney general will now review their conclusions and decide whether to file charges.

Netanyahu has denied wrongdoing.



 
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