Legal Fate Of Israeli Prime Minister To Be Decided Within Week
Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is expected within the week to announce whether to indict Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in any of three corruption probes. Police have recommended the premier be charged with bribery in all the cases, even as Netanyahu holds to his now-famous moniker that, “there will be nothing because there is nothing.” However, most analysts believe that there will indeed be something—potentially in Case 1000, as it is known, in which the premier is accused of accepting lavish gifts in return for providing favors to wealthy benefactors. In Case 2000, Netanyahu allegedly sought to trade positive newspaper coverage for benefits to Yediot Ahronot owner Arnon Mozes; and in Case 4000 he is suspected of orchestrating positive media coverage for himself from the owner of the popular Walla news site, Shaul Elovitch, who is the controlling shareholder of the Bezeq communications giant. In return, Netanyahu allegedly helped Bezeq buy the Israeli satellite cable provider Yes while overriding any anti-trust issues raised by ministry officials. Netanyahu has vowed to contest the upcoming April 9 elections if he is indicted, although the race could be turned on its head in such an eventuality. Many of the premier’s longstanding political partners already have confirmed they will sit in a coalition with him if he is charged, although key parties remain on the fence and could potentially block Netanyahu’s ability to form the next government even if he wins what is shaping up to be a close race.