Netanyahu Pushes Back:
'The game was rigged against me - but the truth will prevail'

Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects police recommendation to indict him in Case 4000 investigation, says decision was made before probe began.

David Rosenberg ,

Netanyahu at Kfar Maccabiah
Netanyahu at Kfar Maccabiah
Kobi Richter/TPS

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke out Sunday evening, responding to a recommendation by investigators that he be indicted on corruption charges as part of the ‘Case 4000’ probe.

Speaking in front of thousands of Likud activists at the Kfar Maccabiah Hotel in Ramat Gan in central Israel, Netanyahu rejected the police recommendation, claiming that the decision to back charging him had been made before the probe even began.

“The fact that they revealed their recommendations on the last day of the outgoing police commissioner’s term proves what I’ve been saying from day one: This game was fixed from the start. You can’t expect different results from a process that was tainted before it began.”

“This witch-hunt against us was carried out openly, with pettiness, in a process that was tainted from its inception. Even before the investigation began, they determined, then leaked, the recommendations. So what's new [about Sunday’s police announcement]?”

On Sunday morning, police announced that they had found sufficient evidence to justify an indictment of the premier for involvement in the so-called “Bezeq-Walla” scandal, also known as the ‘Case 4000’ investigation.

Police suspect the Prime Minister used his influence as Communications Minister (which he served as in addition to the premiership from 2014 to 2017) to shape regulations in favor of the Bezeq telecommunications corporation, in exchange for favorable coverage from the Walla! media outlet.

Both Bezeq and Walla! are owned primarily by businessman Shaul Elovitch.

In February, investigators also recommended that Netanyahu be indicted on corruption charges in the Case 1000 and Case 2000 probes involving allegations of the receipt of gifts from wealthy businessmen and charges of collusion with a newspaper publisher.

During his speech Sunday evening, Netanyahu not only rejected claims of a quid pro quo, but explicitly denied either having received any benefits from Elovitch or working to advance Elovitch’s interests.

“I gave nothing to Elovitch and I received nothing from him. I made my decisions [as Communications Minister] for the good of Israel, which was always my consideration. The processes were proper. Merger between Bezeq and Yes were approved by all the professional officials. Was everyone in on the deal? Obviously not. Because there was no deal.”