Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu begins the final attempt to ward off an indictment of corruption
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu begins last attempt to avert a corruption charge that has threatened his hold on power
- The hearing with Benjamin Netanyahu on allegations of corruption began in Jerusalem today
- Accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars of champagne and cigars
- He struggles to extend his length rule after the second undecided election
The Israeli Prime Minister's long-awaited hearing on corruption allegations began today in Jerusalem.
Benjamin Netanyahu is currently struggling to extend his long reign after the stalemate that followed the second undecided election of the year.
He tries to build a united government with his primary opponents, the centrist blue and white party, who refuses to cooperate with him because of the serious crimes he is accused of.
Benjamin Netanyahu & # 39; s pre-indictment session on allegations of corruption began in Jerusalem today. Depicted is Ram Caspi, the lawyer of Netanyahu, who arrives at the Ministry of Justice
The Israeli Attorney General has recommended Netanyahu to be charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases.
Netanyahu has denied any misconduct and said that the claims are part of a media-orchestra witch hunt.
The allegations accuse him of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in champagne and cigars from billionaire friends and offering a critical publisher law that would weaken the main rival of his paper in exchange for a softer treatment.
He is also accused of using his influence to help a rich telecom magnate in exchange for favorable news coverage on a popular news site.
Netanyahu has been accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in champagne and cigars from billionaire friends and offering a critical publisher law that would weaken the main rival of his paper in exchange for a softer treatment
Netanyahu has constantly promised to erase his name during the hearing.
A team of his lawyers arrived today at the Ministry of Justice in Jerusalem to claim that all charges must be withdrawn.
His lawyer, Amit Haddad, said: “We are not only going to present the evidence that everyone knows, but also new evidence.
& # 39; We are convinced that when we present our findings, there is no choice but to close the case.
He added: & # 39; We believe and know that ultimately all three things must be closed. & # 39;
The sessions are expected to last four days. And it can take a few weeks for the Attorney General to make his final decision.
However, legal experts say the probability of a charge is very high, given the mountains of evidence gathered by the police over the years of investigations and the apparent consensus of the Public Prosecution Service to continue a trial.
Although Netanyahu should not resign if he is charged, he will be under heavy pressure to do so.
President Reuven Rivlin (right) chose Netanyahu last week as the candidate with the best chance of forming a government
He has not been able to assemble the required 61-seat majority in parliament to build a coalition government and faces great opposition from those he needs to support him.
President Reuven Rivlin chose Netanyahu last week as the candidate with the best chance of forming a government.
That step came after Rivlin had not succeeded in mediating a unity government between Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz in recent days.
A unitary government seems to be the preferred option for both parties, but they remain far apart who should lead first and what such a constellation would look like.
That step came after Rivlin had not succeeded in mediating a unity government between Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz (photo) in recent days
Netanyahu and Gantz would meet again today before Gantz abruptly canceled, indicating the likely failure of the talks.
In such a case, Netanyahu is likely to inform the president that he cannot form a government. Rivlin will then probably give Gantz a chance that has the same chance.
If he does not succeed either, Rivlin can choose another legislator or move what would be an unprecedented third election.
According to the final official results of the September 17 elections, Blue and White were the first to finish with 33 seats in parliament with 120 seats, just before Likud of Netanyahu with 32 seats.
Netanyahu, however, improved Gantz by 55-54 in the number of legislators that recommended him as prime minister, leaving both the magical number of 61 behind.
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