Israeli PM Netanyahu denies graft allegations, says will lead the country

  • November 22, 2019

File Photo: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied all the allegations levied against him and announced that he would lead the country as the PM. He has been charged of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in connection with three separate cases by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

“It is an attempted coup based on fabrications and a tainted and biased investigative process,” Netanyahu said in defiance of the wrongdoings. “I will continue to lead the country, according to the letter of the law, with responsibility, devotion and concern for all of our futures,” he said

Speaking on a 15 minute tirade on Thursday after Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced the indictment earlier on the same day, Netanyahu condemned the allegations as an ‘attempted coup’ and of ‘politically motivated’ against him.

“What is going on here is an attempt to stage a coup against the prime minister. The object of the investigations was to oust the right-wing from government.” Netanyahu said in the televised speech.

PM Netanyahu has been accused of receiving gifts worth thousands of dollars from wealthy businessmen and agreeing a deal to change a regulatory system in favor of a media group to get favorable press coverage in return.

However, he denied all the wrongdoings and accused the judiciary, police and others of plotting against him with ‘false’ and ‘politically motivated’ allegations.

Charges on Mr. Netanyahu

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit filed criminal charges against Netanyahu in February on the recommendation of Police under the three cases dubbed as Case 1,000, Case 2,000 and Case 4,000.

Case 1,000: Netanyahu is suspected of wrongfully accepting $264,000 worth of gifts, including champagne and cigars, from wealthy businessmen in one case

Case 2,000: He is accused of dispensing favors in return for favorable stories about him in Israel’s biggest selling newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth.

Case 4,000: This being the most serious case, he has been charged with both bribery and fraud and breach of trust. he is accused of granting regulatory favors worth about 1.8 billion shekels (about $500 million) to Israel’s leading telecoms company, Bezeq Telecom Israel, (BEZQ.TA) in return for positive coverage on a website owned by its former chairman.

Though Netanyahu has been charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust, he is under no obligation to resign. The entire process of indictment and trial could take two years.