Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted Thursday on bribery, fraud, and breach of trust charges in a set of long-running corruption cases, the NYTimes reported.
It puts his future in doubt and the timing is interesting since he and his opponent are struggling to form a government and these potential charges have been floating around for a long time. Similar charges were piled on to his wife who ended up paying a fine.
Mr. Netanyahu, 70, who in July became the longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s history, is the first to be indicted while in office.
The cases against Mr. Netanyahu involve allegations of giving or offering lucrative official favors to several media tycoons in exchange for either favorable coverage in news outlets or gifts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. He has rejected the charges as false and politically motivated.
The report notes that Mr. Netanyahu is not legally required to step down, but “critics are expected to petition the Supreme Court to rule that Mr. Netanyahu must step down.”
Polls have shown that a formal indictment would change many minds, including among many right-wing voters. However, their polls could be as biased as ours.
Could this be political?