Israel’s Attorney General on Thursday indicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit announced that Netanyahu will be charged with criminal wrongdoing in three separate cases against him, including bribery in the far-reaching Bezeq corruption probe.
The prime minister has denied all the allegations, saying they are part of a politically orchestrated “witch-hunt” to oust him from office.
Israeli prime minister becomes the first sitting PM in Israel’s history to be charged with bribery in a case involving quid pro quo with telecom tycoon.
Mendelblit’s decision to indict came after agreeing with two police reports issued in 2018, which recommended that the prime minister be indicted in three affairs known as Case 1000, Case 2000 and Case 4000.
“The attorney general’s decision on the prime minister was taken after a thorough and thorough examination of the numerous allegations raised by the prime minister’s lawyers during the four days of the hearing in early October 2019. All allegations were examined in-depth as part of a regular work process deployed over many hours in which the State Attorney’s Office submitted in-depth reviews of hundreds of pages, relating to the allegations raised at the hearing,” The Times of Israel quoted the statement.
Israeli law does not require Netanyahu to step down from the post of prime minister if indicted and the trial could take two years.
If he is convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison or a fine for bribery charges alone, while fraud and breach of trust carry a prison sentence of up to three years.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s Likud party called on party activists to rally outside the prime minister’s Jerusalem residence to express their support for him on Thursday night.