Israel’s attorney general on Thursday announced that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be indicted on breach of trust and bribery charges, weeks before the country’s elections. Netanyahu will seek a fifth term in office in the April 9 general election.
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit recommended the prime minister be indicted in connection with three separate corruption cases. The most significant case against him involves the country’s largest telecommunications company Bezeq Group. Mandelblit outlined the cases in a 57-page letter sent to Netanyahu’s lawyers.
Netanyahu addressed the nation following Mandebilt’s charges on Thursday, and called the charges a conspiracy against him. “Don’t let this witch hunt confuse you,” The Washington Post quoted him as saying. He said the charges were a “house of cards” that would collapse.
The prime minister had earlier said he would not quit even if indicted.
Netanyahu’s wife Sara, accused of misusing state funds, is also facing a fraud case in which she could serve up to five years in prison.
The prime minister’s main rival Gantz, the former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, has turned the corruption cases into one of his main weapons.