The Israeli Attorney General has indicted prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges after months of uncertainty over whether Netanyahu would be able to retain his leadership of the country. Netanyahu will be charged with corruption by Israeli prosecutors, including charges of bribery and fraud, a spokesman for the country’s justice ministry said.
Netanyahu, a four-time premier, is to be charged with bribery in one case, and with fraud and breach of trust in all three cases in which he allegedly made illicit deals either with supporters or with local businesses, in exchange for gifts or cash.
According to RT, the most severe case involves charges of altering telecom regulations in favor of telecom company Bezeq, whose owner, Shaul Elovitch, also ran news site Walla News. Flush with a $500 million windfall, Elovitch would allegedly press his editors to make coverage more favorable to the Netanyahus. That case involves a bribery charge on top of breach of trust and fraud, and Elovitch and his wife are also facing bribery charges.
Netanyahu, who has denied any wrongdoing and said he is the victim of a politically orchestrated "witch hunt," faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of bribery and a maximum 3-year term for fraud and breach of trust, according to legal experts.
He is also not obligated to resign because of them. However, his trouble forming a coalition government is likely to become more severe. He is expected to make a statement soon, while asking supporters to gather near his official residence in Jerusalem to protest the indictment.