Attorney-General to Indict Israeli PM on Corruption Charges
Israeli Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit announced Thursday evening that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would be charged in three separate corruption cases. In what has become known as “Case 4000,” Netanyahu will be charged with bribery for a scheme in which he allegedly received favorable media coverage from the Walla news outlet in exchange for backing policies favorable to the Bezeq telecommunications company. Walla and Bezeq are both owned by Shaul Elovitch, who will also be charged with bribery and obstruction of justice. In Case 1000, Netanyahu will be charged with breach of public trust for receiving expensive gifts from wealthy supporters. In Case 2000, Netanyahu will be charged with breach of public trust for a scheme in which he and the owner of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper discussed trading favorable coverage for reducing competition from Yedioth’s main business rival, the Israel Hayom newspaper. The owner of Yedioth Ahronoth will also be indicted for bribery. Mandelblit must now request that the Knesset lift the prime minister’s immunity, which could take 30 days. It’s not known how the indictments will affect negotiations to form a government. By law, if the prime minister is indicted, he need not leave office unless he is convicted and has exhausted all avenues for appeal.