JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will attempt to head off a corruption indictment at a series of pre-trial hearings that begin on Wednesday, in which he will try to persuade Israel’s attorney-general not to press charges. FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives at the Likud party headquarters following the announcement of exit polls during Israel's parliamentary election in Tel Aviv, Israel September 18, 2019. REUTERS/Ammar Awad The political survival of Israel’s longest-serving leader, who denies any criminal wrongdoing, is also clouded by his failure to win a clear victory in two parliamentary elections this year, in April and last month. Netanyahu, leader of the right-wing Likud party, heads a caretaker government following the inconclusive Sept. 17 election. He was tapped last week to form a government and has been trying build a national unity coalition with his main rival Benny Gantz, but Gantz says he will … [Read more...] about Explainer: A look at the legal trouble facing Israel’s Netanyahu
Defence lawyers representing Benjamin Netanyahu are due to begin their arguments against looming bribery, fraud and breach of trust indictments as a long-awaited pre-trial hearing begins. Wednesday’s closed-door hearing, the culmination of three years of investigations, arrives at an especially fraught time for Israel’s longest-serving leader. Netanyahu is also fighting for his political life after failing to secure a clear win in two elections this year. Clinching the premiership for a historic fifth term is seen as a way to protect himself if indicted, as Israeli prime ministers are not required under law to step down unless they are ultimately convicted. That process could take months or even years. Political survival for Netanyahu is also potentially tied to his personal freedom as some of his parliamentary allies have suggested they would back laws to grant him immunity if he remains prime minister. Netanyahu has denied all allegations as a politically orchestrated … [Read more...] about Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu faces pre-trial corruption hearing
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's defence team has begun presenting its arguments against a series of corruption charges that may lead to the Israeli leader's indictment, amid a period of political uncertainty. The pre-trial hearings, which will take place across four consecutive days, will see Netanyahu's lawyers argue before the country's Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, that he should not press charges for alleged bribery, fraud and breach of trust - or to reduce them. Netanyahu, who hasÂ denied any criminal wrongdoing, is currently fighting for political survival as he failed to achieve a clear win in two parliamentary elections held in April and September this year. The 69-year-old leader's attempts to form a unity government has suffered a setbackÂ afterÂ his main rival Benny Gantz refused to serve in a cabinet led by a leader who faces indictment. Last week, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin asked Netanyahu, the leader ofÂ the … [Read more...] about Israeli PM Netanyahu’s pre-corruption trial hearings begin
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Two weeks after fighting and failing to win an election, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced trouble on a second front on Wednesday at legal hearings to decide whether he must face trial for corruption. FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives at the Likud party headquarters following the announcement of exit polls during Israel's parliamentary election in Tel Aviv, Israel September 18, 2019. REUTERS/Ammar Awad/File Photo Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit has already said he intends to file criminal charges against Netanyahu in high-profile cases that have dominated Israeli headlines for years. But at a series of pre-trial hearings Netanyahu’s lawyers are arguing that prosecutors should not press charges in three graft cases. Israel’s longest-serving leader denies any wrongdoing. But he has fought two inconclusive parliamentary elections this year under the shadow of allegations that opponents seized … [Read more...] about Explainer: Netanyahu’s legal woes: How much trouble is he in?
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's pre-indictment hearing on corruption charges has begun, with his lawyers promising to reveal new evidence.The country's attorney general has recommended charging the prime minister with fraud, bribery and breach of trust in three separate cases. Mr Netanyahu, who has led Israel for 13 years over two terms, denies the allegations and says it is a witch-hunt by the media and the left that will eventually see him exonerated.The claims include that the prime minister and his wife received gifts, including champagne and cigars, from a Hollywood producer and Australian billionaire James Packer.He is also alleged to have granted regulatory favours to an Israeli telecoms firm in return for positive coverage on a news website. A third case claims he did a deal with the owner of Israel's most popular daily newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, for better coverage in return for a law that would hinder a rival paper. The court sessions at Jerusalem's justice … [Read more...] about Netanyahu’s lawyers to reveal ‘new evidence’ in corruption case