Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and abuse of trust

Netanyahu indicted for bribery, fraud, and abuse of trust, it could take months for a trial to begin

After months of speculations, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister, was charged with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust over three different cases. Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit formalized the indictment against the acting leader.

The PM said that he would not resign and that denounced these accusations as an "attempt of a coup". The charges announced by the attorney general is first of its kind against an Israeli PM. Netanyahu's main centre-left challenger, Benny Gantz, said in a tweet responding to the long-standing PM that "There was no coup in Israel, just a bid (by Netanyahu), to hang on to power."

The attorney general appointed by Netanyahu said on his own televised statement that it was a sad day and it was his duty to ensure that no one is above law. The prosecution has accused the head of the state over three cases known as 1000, 2000 and 4000. The police had requested Mendelbeit to charge cases against Netanyahu over the long-standing accusations. In all three instances, he is accused of fraud and breach of trust but what makes the case strong for the indictment is that he is charged with bribery.

Legal Implication

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The law requires the PM to step down if indicted, but many of the reports have been pointing out at the loopholes in the system. The Times of Israel pointed out one of the major flaws of the case being the political instability faced by the country.

According to the indictment under case 1000 the Netanyahus were suspected of accepting luxurious goods from two millionaires in exchange for favours. The case 2000 relates to the PM asking for positive coverage from one of the leading newspaper Yediot Aharonot editor, who is also accused, in exchange for damaging the distribution of the rival newspaper Israel Hayom.

The accusation that could affect the PM is the case 4000. He asked for favourable coverage of him and his wife and in return, he has been said to do favours for the Israeli telephony giant Bezeq. These accusations come amidst the political deadlock the country is facing. However, as the Times of Israel report has indicated it could be months before the proceedings could take place because of the involvement of the Knesset House Committee.