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Israel's Netanyahu to be indicted on charges of bribery and fraud

Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu. Sebastian Scheiner/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced Thursday his decision to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in one case of bribery and two cases of fraud and breach of trust. All indictments are pending a hearing.

Why it matters: The announcement comes after more than two years of investigations and less than two months before Israel's highly anticipated April 9 elections. It's also the first time in Israel's history that a sitting prime minister will face criminal charges.

Details:

  • In case 4000 — which involves Netanyahu's relationship with Israel's leading telecommunications tycoon — the indictment is for bribery.
  • In case 2000 — Netanyahu's alleged deal with a newspaper publisher for favorable coverage — the indictment is for fraud and breach of trust. 
  • In case 1000 — involving Netanyahu allegedly taking $200,000 from businessmen in return for promoting their interests — the indictment is for fraud and breach of trust.

Backdrop: Israeli police in December recommended Mandelblit indict Netanyahu and his wife for bribery due to their relationship with Israel's leading telecommunications tycoon. This was the third time in the last year police had recommended Netanyahu be indicted for bribery.

Go deeper: Israeli police recommend indicting Netanyahu in bribery case

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