Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was charged Thursday with corruption: bribery, fraud and breach of trust in connection with three separate cases.
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit disclosed his decision at a news conference.This comes after a three-year investigation. It is the first time a sitting Israeli prime minister has been charged with a crime. He is accused to have accepted gifts from wealthy businessmen, including pink champagne and cigars, and dispensed favours to try to get more positive press coverage. Mr Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing. According to his declaration, he will not resign and is not legally obliged to do so.
One of the three cases against Benjamin Netanyahu is considered the most serious. He has been charged with bribery, as well as fraud and breach of trust. It is said that Mr Netanyahu promoted regulatory decisions that favoured a leading telecommunications company in return for favourable news coverage from one of its websites. Two close aides to Netanyahu turned state’s witness and testified against him in the case. Netanyahu could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of bribery and a maximum 3-year term for fraud and breach of trust. He has failed to build a unity government with his primary opponents, the centrist Blue and White party, who refuse to partner with him.