Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister, was on Thursday evening formally charged on allegations of fraud and bribery.
Netanyahu becomes the first Israeli premier to face indictment charges while in office.
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced that Netanyahu was to face charges on three corruption accounts.
Netanyahu faces accusations
of receiving gifts and positive news coverage in exchange for regulatory benefits from the government.
Netanyahu denied all accusations of wrongdoing and argued that he’s a victim of a political “witch-hunt” pushed by the left and the media.
Specifically, Manderlblit shared that the Israel PM committed the following offences:
In the first charge profiled as “Case 1,000,” concerns allegations that Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, had accepted one million shekels ($276,000) worth of Champagne, cigars, flights, and hotel rooms from an Israeli movie producer and an Australian casino mogul.
The second charge named “Case 2,000,” regards allegations that Netanyahu tried to broker a deal with Arnon Mozes, the publisher of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, in which the newspaper covered Netanyahu favorably, and the government would limit its rival’s circulation in exchange.
The third charge described as “Case 4,000,” has authorities alleging that Netanyahu granted regulatory benefits to Bezeq, a telecommunications company, in exchange for positive coverage of Netanyahu by Bezeq’s subsidiary news site Walla.
It remains to be seen how Netanyahu, a shrewd political diplomat, will substantively deal with this issue.
Additional reporting from The Times of Israel.