Israeli police said Tuesday there is “sufficient evidence” to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on criminal charges in two corruption cases CNN reports.
According to a police statement published late Tuesday, authorities found evidence of “accepting bribes, fraud, and breach of trust.”
In a televised statement, Netanyahu said that the allegations against him would be dismissed, repeating what has become his catchphrase, “There will be nothing because there is nothing.”
In a statement given moments before police issued their official findings, he said: “I think about the good of the country not for personal reasons of the press, but only for the country, and nothing will stop me from doing this, not even the attacks against me, and believe me they’re never ending.
“And, therefore, today isn’t different from any other days which I’ve been through in past 20 years.”
When asked whether the US had any reaction to the police statement, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, “The only thing I have to say about that is that the United States has a very strong relationship, not only with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but also the Israeli government. We’re certainly aware of it, but we consider it to be an internal Israeli matter.”
Netanyahu is a suspect in two separate criminal investigations, known as Case 1000 and Case 2000.
In Case 1000, Netanyahu is suspected of having received gifts from businessmen overseas totaling 1 million shekels (approximately $280,000), including cigars, champagne, jewelry and more, from 2007 through 2016.
The case has focused primarily on Netanyahu’s relationship with Israeli billionaire and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.
In exchange for the gifts, police say, Netanyahu tried to advance a tax break that would have benefited Milchan, though he was blocked by the Finance Ministry.
“According to suspicions, the Prime Minister worked to advance the extension of the tax waiver for returning citizens over 10 years, a benefit that has a considerable economic value for Mr. Milchan,” the police statement said.
MK Yair Lapid, one of Netanyahu’s chief rivals who served as finance minister during this period and was called to testify during the investigation, called on Netanyahu to step down. “Even if the law does not require the Prime Minister to resign, someone who has such serious accusations against them, many of which he does not deny, cannot continue to serve as Prime Minister with responsibility for the security and well-being of Israel’s citizens,” Lapid said.
Police say they have enough evidence to indict Milchan on charges of bribery.