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Israeli A-G Threatens PM over Pre-indictment Hearing

Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit sent a letter to Binyamin Netanyahu’s lawyers threatening to forego the prime minister’s pre-indictment hearing unless it is formally scheduled by May 10. On February 28, Mandelblit announced his intent to prosecute Netanyahu on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases. In so-called Case 4000, the premier is alleged to have orchestrated better coverage of him and his family from the owner of the popular Walla! news site in exchange for the Communications Ministry enacting policies potentially worth tens of millions of dollars for Shaul Elovitch, Walla’s owner and the controlling shareholder of the Bezeq communications company. Police also recommended earlier this year that Netanyahu be indicted in two additional cases: one in which he is accused of accepting expensive gifts in return for providing favors to benefactors (Case 1000); and the other regarding a purported agreement to trade positive newspaper coverage for favors that benefit Yediot Ahronot owner Arnon Mozes (Case 2000).