Netanyahu has been Charged with Bribery, Fraud and Abuse of Trust

Photo of author

( — November 24, 2019) — Israeli Chief Prosecutor Avihaj Mandelblit last night formally accused Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu of bribery, fraud and misuse of trust in three corruption cases.

At the beginning of October, a four-day hearing was held with Netanyahu’s lawyers; followed by weeks of intense discussions at the Attorney General’s offices. Netanyahu at all times denied that he had done anything wrong and that he was the victim of a “witch hunt” organized by the media and police.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s eldest son has been accused of bribery in the so-called “4,000 case” concerning the telecommunications giant Bezek. The case is considered the most serious offense and concerns an alleged bribery deal between Netanyahu and businessman Saul Elovich, who controls the telecom giant Bezek.

According to the indictment, during his time as Minister of Communications, Netanyahu was influential in managing regulations that benefited the businessman for a total of $ 500 million. In return, Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, demanded support in news media controled by Elovich.

The other two cases, the “1,000” and “2,000”, concern expensive gifts, cigars and bottles of champagne, which Netanyahu received from wealthy businessmen, and arrangements with the publisher of the circulation newspaper to also report favorably on Netanyahu in exchange for reducing the impact of the competing media.

The indictment against Netanyahu comes at a time of political stalemate after two rounds of parliamentary elections this year in which parliamentarians failed to elect the government.

The charges threaten Netanyahu’s lengthy rule, though he is not required by law to resign while proceedings are pending against him. He will, however, be under political pressure to do so.