Israeli PM Netanyahu officially indicted over corruption charges after he withdraws immunity bid
28 Jan, 2020 12:08 / Updated 1 hour ago
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem. January 19, 2020. © REUTERS / Pool / Gil Cohen-Magen
Israel’s attorney general has submitted an indictment against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over three corruption cases after he withdrew his request to be granted immunity against prosecution.
The indictment was filed by Avichai Mandelblit to the Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday, paving the way for Netanyahu’s trial.
The move became possible after the PM officially stopped seeking parliamentary immunity from prosecution earlier that day. The parliament was due to convene on Tuesday to vote on the formation of a committee to discuss Netanyahu’s request.
Netanyahu, who denies all allegations of corruption, argued that he “was not given due process,” while the outcome of the upcoming vote on his possible immunity was “pre-dictated without proper discussion.”
The Israeli PM is charged with fraud, bribery and breach of trust in three cases usually dubbed in the media as Case 1000, Case 2000, and Case 4000.
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In Case 1000, Netanyahu is being accused of allegedly accepting gifts like cigars and champagne worth over $264,000 from Israeli film producer Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer in exchange for “favors.”
Cases 2000 and 4000 deal with the PM allegedly attempting to buy positive press coverage from businessmen Arnon Mozes and Shaul Elovitch, who control Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper and news website Walla! respectively.
Regarding the accusations, Netanyahu argued that it is not illegal to accept gifts from friends, and denied having done anything wrong in exchange for them. The PM also rejected the accusation that he used his authority to benefit the mentioned media.