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'It's a tainted investigation': Benjamin Netanyahu's reaction as he's indicted on fraud and bribery

The Israeli prime minister has called the allegations part of a witch-hunt.

Image: PA

Updated Nov 21st 2019, 8:42 PM

ISRAEL’S ATTORNEY GENERAL has formally charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a series of corruption scandals.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit issued an indictment charging Netanyahu with fraud, breach of trust and bribery. 

The allegations against Mr Netanyahu include suspicions that he accepted hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of champagne and cigars from billionaire friends, offered to trade favours with a newspaper publisher, and used his influence to help a wealthy telecoms magnate in exchange for favourable coverage on a popular news site.

Mr Netanyahu has called the allegations part of a witch-hunt, lashing out against the media, police, prosecutors and the justice system.

Netanyahu rejected the indictment this evening and said the country is witnessing an “attempted coup” against him.

In a defiant statement, Netanyahu said the indictment stemmed from “false accusations” and a systematically “tainted investigation”.

Netanyahu was unable to form a government following unprecedented back-to-back elections this year, in part because of his legal woes, and a third vote could be held within months.

His main political rival said the indicted prime minister has “no public or moral mandate to make fateful decisions for the state of Israel”.

Former army chief Benny Gantz said in a statement the indictment raises concerns that Netanyahu “will make decisions in his own personal interest and for his political survival and not in the national interest”.

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Associated Press

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