Despite having been asked to form a government, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, is currently on trial. Leah Langley looks at the charges against him, and their potential impact.
Benjamin Netanyahu is the Israeli Prime Minister who is being investigated in connection with numerous corruption scandals that are thought to involve himself and his close political acquaintances. The investigation into Netanyahu began in December of 2016 with formal indictments for breach of trust, accepting bribes, and fraud, being served on November 21st, 2019. The investigation means that he has had to surrender all of his ministry positions other than Prime Minister. The trial officially began on May 24th, 2020, and Netanyahu is the first Israeli leader to face trial while still in office.
The cases that are being heard are known as Case 1000, Case 2000, Case 3000, Case 4000, and Case 1270. Case 1000 involves the repeated acceptance of valuable presents by Netanyahu and his wife. Case 2000 deals with recorded conversations between Netanyahu and Arnon Mozes (chairman and editor of Yedioth Ahronoth, one of the largest Israeli newspapers) in which discussions were held in relation to Yedioth Ahronoth’s success which could be impacted by legislation. Case 3000 involves people that have professional and personal ties to Netanyahu and addresses a deal that was made between Germany and Israel for the purchase of three dolphin-class submarines and four Sa’ar 6-class corvette warships. Case 4000 concerns the telecommunication company, Bezeq, and their relationship with the communication ministry that used to be headed by Netanyahu. Case 1270 looks at an alleged bribe offer to an Attorney General of Israel candidate, in exchange for dropping a case against Netanyahu’s wife.
If charges are brought against Netanyahu or any of his government ministers, then they must resign and step down from their positions. If convicted, Netanyahu could be sentenced to several years in jail, but he has announced his plans to continue being in charge as he called out the illegitimacy of the investigation.
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