Israel indicts Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for fraud, breach of trust

A week after his swear-in, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been indicted for fraud, bribery and breach of trust.

According to a result by Reuters, Netanyahu will go on trial from May 24th, 2020.

There are several charges against him, CASE 4000 alleges that Netanyahu granted regulatory favours worth around 1.8 billion shekels (about $500 million) to Israeli telecommunications company Bezeq Telecom Israel.

In return, prosecutors say, he sought positive coverage of himself and his wife on a news website controlled by the company’s former chairman, Shaul Elovitch.

In this case, Netanyahu has been charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Elovitch and his wife, Iris, have been charged with bribery and obstruction of justice. The couple deny wrongdoing.

CASE 1000, in which Netanyahu has been charged with fraud and breach of trust, centres on allegations that he and wife Sara wrongfully received almost 700,000 shekels worth of gifts from Arnon Milchan, a Hollywood producer and Israeli citizen, and Australian billionaire businessman James Packer.

Prosecutors said gifts included champagne and cigars and that Netanyahu helped Milchan with his business interests. Neither Packer nor Milchan face charges.

CASE 2000 alleges that Netanyahu negotiated a deal with Arnon Mozes, owner of Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, for better coverage. In return, the prime minister allegedly offered legislation that would slow the growth of a rival newspaper. Netanyahu has been charged with fraud and breach of trust. Mozes has been charged with offering a bribe, and denies wrongdoing.

If he is convicted, he could be jailed for up to 10 years.