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Prime minister to be indicted for 'bribery, fraud'

Prime minister to be indicted for 'bribery, fraud'

The actual filing of the reported charges, which include bribery, fraud and breach of trust, will depend on the outcome of a required hearing, likely after the April 9 election, where Netanyahu can try to persuade the attorney general not to indict him.

Mr Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing.

He has said he is the victim of a left-wing "witch-hunt" meant to topple him.

Some reports said Mandelblit would move to indict the prime minister for bribery, which a Netanyahu spokesman said would be "ridiculous" and "absurd".

According to Israeli law, Ministry of Justice prosecutors will hold a pre-indictment hearing before they formally charge the prime minister.

His right-wing Likud party earlier Thursday had joined a petition filed with the supreme court to stop Mandelblit from announcing his decision before the elections.

However most feel it will do Netanyahu irreversible damage, given that the juiciest details gleaned from the Israeli Police investigations are still to emerge in the Israeli press - a fate journalists know to be inevitable.

He will also charge Netanyahu with fraud and breach of trust in two other cases.

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The 69-year-old has been prime minister for a total of around 13 years and he would be on track to surpass founding father David Ben-Gurion as Israel's longest-serving premier should he win in April. The attorney general has indicated that he does not plan to press charges against the prime minister's wife.

Benjamin Netanyahu is the dominant Israeli politician of his generation.

Police have accused Netanyahu of accepting bribes from wealthy foreigners, of attempting to strike backroom deals to obtain more favorable media coverage, and of giving a telecommunications company favorable regulations in exchange for positive media coverage.

Netanyahu rushed back Wednesday from a diplomatic mission to Moscow, and a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, to prepare for his expected rebuttal to the charges on Thursday.

US President Donald Trump, whose own legal entanglements bear eerie parallels to Netanyahu's, declined to comment on the indictment in Hanoi, Vietnam, though he did offer praise of the Israeli leader.

Mandelblit has been studying three different corruption cases and has outlined them in a 58-page document sent to Netanyahu's lawyers. Avichai Mandelblit is expected to announce his decision after more than two years of intense investigations and deliberations.

"The main thing was to influence the elections, even if we know that this house of cards will completely collapse after the elections".

In case 1000, the gifts affair, the prime minister will be charged with breach of trust subject to a hearing. Kahane's previous political party, Kach, was banned from Israel's parliament in the 1980s and was later listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. One of Kahane's followers was responsible for the 1994 terrorist attack that killed 29 Palestinians at a mosque in Hebron.


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