BREAKING: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Be INDICTED On Charges of Bribery And Corruption
The office of Israel's attorney general has announced today that the country's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will be charged with acts of corruption, as the results of a two-year investigation. The FIRST time it's happened in the nation's history. Find out the breaking details at Polerium.
The office of Israel's attorney general has announced today that the country's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will be charged with acts of corruption, as the results of a two-year investigation.
The prime minister will be indicted on one count of bribery, and two counts of fraud and breach of trust.
In three other cases in the past, police have also recommended charges of fraud, briber and breach of trust. But no charges were leveyed.
The details around the corruption are as follows: according to evidence gathered from confidants of the PM, Netanyahu promoted changes in government enforced regulations worth hundreds of millios of dollars, in favour of Bezeq - an Israeli telecommunications giant. In return, the police believe that Netanyahu used his connections with a member of the board of that company to get Walla, a popular news site owned by Bezeq, to give him positive coverage.
Police have said that their investigation has showed that Netanyahu and the board member engaged in a "bribe-based relationship."
Charges have also been recommended by police against the board member, his family, and other members of the Bezeq management.
As mentioned, out of three previous potential indictments, police have twice recommended charges of corruption against Mr Netanyahu - once for accepting gifts from billionaire friends, the other for again offering advantageous legislation to a newspaper in return for positive covereage of him.
Mr Netanyahu accuses the whole investigation of being a witch hunt, and an attempt to smear him before the upcoming elections in 39 days, where Netanyahu is looking for his fifth term as PM.
Indeed, Mr Netanyahu's party, Likud, filed a petition this morning with the Israeli Supreme Court as soon as rumours of the upcoming charges started to circulate, to urge the court to ban the attorney general's office from making the charges public. They argued that public knowledge of the charges would unfairly damage his chances in the election.
The court rejected the petition.
Legal experts though say that it could take as long as a year for a just the hearing process into the charges to wrap up, and then a further two years for a court case to heard at all.
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit who is announcing the charges is Mr Netanyahu's former cabinet secretary.
This is the first time in history that a sitting Israeli prime minister will be charged with a crime, and whilst there is no Israeli law saying its prime minister must resign if a criminal charge is leveyed, for a leader to maintain their position after such a scandal would mean there's serious cancer in a nation's body politic.
I can't see him holding onto power. This is a major turn of events.
Let's see how the story develops.