Last summer, Israeli police revealed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a suspect in a wide-ranging fraud investigation, and law enforcement had managed to turn a few witnesses. In what could have an impact on Netanyahu’s ability to remain in office, Israeli police have recommended that the country’s leader, known as Bibi, be charged with fraud, bribery, and breach of public trust.
Following a year-long investigation into corruption, Israeli police found evidence against Netanyahu in two high-profile cases:
[A] gifts-for-favors affair known as Case 1000, and a second scandal, dubbed Case 2000, in which Mr. Netanyahu is suspected of back-room dealings with Arnon Mozes, publisher of the popular daily Yediot Aharonot, to ensure more favorable coverage.
Netanyahu is believed to have received over $300,000 over a period of ten years from said back-room deals. However and prior to the police declaration, Netanyahu appeared on TV to explain his conduct and lay to rest any speculation that he would leave office willingly. “I feel a deep obligation to continue to lead Israel in a way that will ensure our future,” he insisted. “You know I do everything with only one thing in mind … Only for the good of the state. Nothing has made me deviate, or will make me deviate, from this sacred mission.”
The process has a ways to go, but the ultimate decision of whether or not to charge Netanyahu lies with Israeli attorney general Avichai Mandelblit. However, the case could set a precedent in Israel’s Supreme Court, which has ruled previously that government ministers or their deputies cannot continue to serve after being indicted. Yet since this has never happened with a prime minister before, Israel would have to set a new legal standard to make it happen.
(Via New York Times)