Israel’s Netanyahu charged in corruption cases

November 21, 2019 in News by RBN Staff

MSN

By ARON HELLER and JOSEF FEDERMAN, Associated Press   1 Hr. Ago
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s attorney general on Thursday formally charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a series of corruption cases, throwing the country’s paralyzed political system into further disarray and threatening the long-time leader’s grip on power.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during an extended faction meeting of the right-wing bloc members at the Knesset, in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)© Provided by The Associated Press Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during an extended faction meeting of the right-wing bloc members at the Knesset, in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit charged Netanyahu with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three different scandals. It is the first time a sitting Israeli prime minister has been charged with a crime. Mandelblit was set to issue a formal statement later Thursday.Allegations against Netanyahu include suspicions he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars of champagne and cigars from billionaire friends, offered to trade favors with a newspaper publisher and used his influence to help a wealthy telecom magnate in exchange for favorable coverage on a popular news site.

Israeli Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit© Getty Israeli Attorney-General Avichai MandelblitThe indictment does not require Netanyahu to resign but is expected to raise pressure on him to step down.

Netanyahu has called the allegations part of a witch hunt, lashing out against the media, police, prosecutors and the justice system.

Netanyahu was scheduled to issue a statement later Thursday.

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