By David Isaac, World Israel News
Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced on Thursday that he will file charges in all three criminal investigations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The decision was expected throughout the day, and tension was high in political circles ahead of the long-awaited announcement.
The charges came despite a last-minute Likud effort to convince Israel’s High Court of Justice on Thursday to stop the attorney general from making the announcement, arguing that it would cause “unprecedented interference” in the political system. However, High Court justice Noam Sohlberg rejected the petition.
Netanyahu faces charges in Cases 1000, 2000 and 4000.
In Case 4000, (aka the Bezeq-Walla! Affair) Mandelblit charged Netanyahu with bribery. In Case 1000, (the Illegal Gifts Affair) Mandelblit brought lesser charges of fraud and breach of trust. In Case 2000, (the Yediot Ahronot-Israel Hayom Affair) Mandelblit will charge with breach of trust only.
Case 4000 is reportedly the strongest case against Netanyahu in the opinion of the State Attorney’s Office. In that case, Netanyahu is accused of driving through a merger for businessman Shaul Elovitch in return for favorable coverage on website Walla!
Netanyahu maintains that the merger involving Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecommunications firm and Yes, a satellite TV provider, both owned by Elovitch, was carried out by the book. Netanyahu also argues that coverage at Walla! was not positive toward him, undermining the case. Continue Reading….