Israel's Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit announced on Thursday his decision to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases, pending a hearing.
In Case 4000, Netanyahu is accused of providing regulatory concessions to Shaul Elovitch, the controlling shareholder of Bezeq telecommunications, in exchange for favorable coverage from Bezeq’s news website, Walla. The charge: Bribery and breach of trust.
In Case 1000, in which the prime minister is alleged to have accepted gifts from wealthy business figures in return for political favors, the charges are fraud and breach of trust.
In Case 2000, which centers around a deal between the prime minister and Arnon Mozes - favorable coverage in return for damaging the Sheldon Adelson's competing newspaper, Israel Hayom. The charge: Breach of trust and fraud.
Mendelblit's decision comes after three years of investigations, and it marks the first time in Israel's history that an attorney general announces an indictment for bribery against an incumbent prime minister.
"You have hurt the image of public service and public faith in it," Mendelblit wrote to Netanyahu in his decision. "You acted in a conflict of interests, you abused your authority while taking into account other considerations that relate to your personal interests and the interests of your family. You corrupted public servants working under you."
The Likud party petitioned the High Court on Thursday in a last-minute bid to block the announcement, but was rejected. In response, the ruling party said the court failed to stop the left from meddling in the election.
A request by Netanyahu’s attorneys to put off announcing the decision until after the April 9 general election was dismissed by Mendelblit, who cited “the principle of equality before the law and the public’s right to know about such important decisions.” Netanyahu responded by accusing the attorney general of "surrendering" to the left and the media.https://archive.ph/Ow9XHhttps://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/netanyahu-to-be-charged-with-bribery-pending-hearing-1.6961872