Israel’s Attorney General Raises Serious Doubt Over Netanyahu’s Leadership

Israel’s Attorney General has proposed prosecution of Benjamin Netanyahu in corruption cases. Israel’s attorney general’s decision raises serious doubt over Netanyahu’s leadership and can severely affect his political future amid upcoming general elections in Israel.

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Israel’s attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit’s announcement indicates his intent to prosecute the prime minister with criminal wrongdoing in all the cases against him, in which he has been accused of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.

As per Israeli law, Israeli PM can defend himself in a pre-trial hearing before the charges are formally filed in court and also urge the attorney general to drop charges. It is not clear if that process will begin before the election but it will definitely take many months. However, the announcement also raises serious doubt over his political future.

Israeli PM has denied all accusations, calling them as witch-hunt propagated by the press. Netanyahu also said in a televised statement that “this entire house of cards will collapse”.

The Israeli PM is country’s second-longest serving premier, Netanyahu has previously pledged not to resign if indicted as he would be under no legal obligation to do so. He also emphasised saying, “the legal case against him was moved by leftist opponents just to topple the right wing and raise the left to the premiership. There is no other explanation.”

“Unilateral publication of the attorney general’s announcement just a month before the elections, without giving the prime minister an opportunity to refute these false accusations, is a blatant and unprecedented intervention in the elections,” Likud party said in a statement calling the charges as “political persecution”.

The Israeli PM could face up to 10 years in jail if convicted of bribery and a maximum three-year term for fraud and breach of trust. However, It would be the first time that a sitting prime minister has been charged.

Netanyahu came back from a trip to Moscow where he met with President Vladimir Putin to prepare for the possible fallout. Before the attorney general’s announcement, Israeli leader received support from his ally, the US president Donald Trump.“I just think he’s been a great prime minister and I don’t know about his difficulty,” Netanyahu said in response to a question in Hanoi.

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