Netanyahu corruption charges: decision is expected today

Netanyahu to Putin Israel will continue acting against Iran in Syria

Netanyahu to Putin Israel will continue acting against Iran in Syria

Israel's attorney-general announced on Thursday he intends to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges, a decision coming just six weeks before a closely contested national election.

The attorney general said he meant to indict Netanyahu, 69, for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in that case.

Netanyahu, who is seeking a fourth consecutive term, denies any wrongdoing.

Netanyahu has denied the allegations, while the billionaires have said their gifts were not intended as bribes. The elections will be held on April 9th.

Under Israeli judicial procedures, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is indicting Netanyahu pending a hearing.

Before Mandleblit's announcement, well-known American lawyer Alan Dershowitz wrote an open letter to the attorney general warning, "To bring down a duly elected prime minister on the basis of an expansive and unprecedented application of a broad and expandable criminal statute endangers democracy". The first involves accepting gifts from billionaire friends and the second revolves around alleged offers of advantageous legislation for a major newspaper in return for favorable coverage.

A Times of Israel poll released overnight on Wednesday showed a draft indictment would cost Netanyahu's ruling Likud party four projected parliamentary seats - and, more important, its ability to form a coalition. Netanyahu quickly faced calls to immediately step aside while he deals with the distraction of trying to clear his name.

Right now, Netanyahu is vowing he will never resign, but starting from today - and certainly following a final indictment - the country enters a new reality.

Mauricio Pochettino SLAMS Tottenham stars in brutally honest Premier League title verdict
Asked if Tottenham are out of the title race, Son responded: "No, I don't believe that". "For me, he is one of the best referees". Spurs didn't play all that bad and had the chances to get more out of the game, but an unlucky final 10 minutes saw them concede.

During two years of intense deliberations and questionings, police have already recommended that Netanyahu, 69, be indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in all three cases.

In a Justice Ministry statement, Mandelblit says he plans to charge Netanyahu with bribery for promoting regulatory changes worth hundreds of millions of dollars to telecom giant Bezeq in return for positive press coverage in Bezeq's popular subsidiary news site Walla.

News of the deal went down badly among Netanyahu's powerful supporters in the United States, including influential lobby group AIPAC, which broke from tradition to criticise a sitting Israeli prime minister.

Netanyahu has been prime minister for a total of around 13 years and he would be on track to surpass founding father David Ben-Gurion as Israel's longest-serving premier should he win in April. Instead, he went with fraud and breach of trust.

"It is alleged that Mr Elovitch acted to significantly and substantively alter press coverage published on the [Walla] website so as to favour Mr Netanyahu", the attorney general's office said. He argued that announcing an indictment before the election - and before his hearing could be completed - would prejudice voters.

"This entire house of cards will collapse", he added. "The presumption of innocence is reserved for every person, including the prime minister".

"The choice is sharp as a razor-a weak Left-wing government of Lapid and Gantz with the Arabs, or a strong government in my leadership", Netanyahu said.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.