Benjamin Netanyahu charged with fraud, bribery, breach of trust; first time sitting Israeli PM has been indicted

  • Israel's attorney general on Thursday formally charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a series of corruption cases

  • Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit charged Netanyahu with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three different scandals.

  • It is the first time a sitting Israeli prime minister has been charged with a crime. Mandelblit is set to issue a formal statement later Thursday.

Jerusalem: Israel's attorney general on Thursday formally charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a series of corruption cases, throwing the country's paralyzed political system into further disarray and threatening the long-time leader's grip on power.

 Benjamin Netanyahu charged with fraud, bribery, breach of trust; first time sitting Israeli PM has been indicted

File image of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. AP

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit charged Netanyahu with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three different scandals.

It is the first time a sitting Israeli prime minister has been charged with a crime.

Mandelblit is set to issue a formal statement later Thursday.

Allegations against Netanyahu include suspicions he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars of champagne and cigars from billionaire friends, offered to trade favors with a newspaper publisher and used his influence to help a wealthy telecom magnate in exchange for favorable coverage on a popular news site.

The indictment does not require Netanyahu to resign but is expected to raise pressure on him to step down.

Netanyahu has called the allegations part of a witch hunt, lashing out against the media, police, prosecutors and the justice system.

Netanyahu was scheduled to issue a statement later Thursday.

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Updated Date: Nov 21, 2019 23:24:14 IST