Israel’s Supreme Court Allows Police To Call For Netanyahu Corruption Indictment

Israel’s highest court has given police the go-ahead to publicize the indictment recommendations against prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and rejected a petition that had been filed to block it.

The highly anticipated release was halted on Sunday as a petition had been filed last week and was pending a hearing in court. The aim of the petition was to shield the Israeli leader from a public backlash.

There are two long-running corruption investigations into the prime minister and outrage over the probes have led to months of large-scale protests.

Press TV reports: Right-wing attorney Yossi Fuchs had filed the petition last week, asking the top court to prevent police from publicly recommending to the attorney general to indict Netanyahu in the graft probes.

The tribunal, however, dismissed the petition on Monday, saying that it had previously passed judgment on the system of recommendations and upheld its lawfulness.

“There is no reason to interfere,” read the court ruling, meaning the police recommendations can now be forwarded.

Netanyahu is suspected of being involved in bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

He has been questioned in two separate cases, involving allegations that he received lavish gifts from wealthy businessmen and negotiated a deal with a newspaper owner for more favorable coverage. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Speaking before the court ruling, Fuchs claimed that his petition was a demand for “justice,” but also admitted it was meant to protect Netanyahu’s right-wing administration.

A poll conducted by Hadashot TV news last December showed that 60 percent of Israelis say Netanyahu should step down if police recommend an indictment against him.

Israelis have been holding weekly protests to demand Netanyahu’s resignation over the corruption scandals, but the premier has described the events as part of efforts meant to topple him “at any cost.”

Last week, Netanyahu lashed out at Israeli police over their handling of the graft probes. This came after Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich said that officers investigating Netanyahu had been put under pressure.