For the first time in Israel’s history, a sitting prime minister is accused of bribery: Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit announced Thursday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be charged with bribery, fraud and breach in three corruption cases, dubbed Cases 4000, 2000 and 1000.
The indictment comes after a four-day hearing with Netanyahu’s defense team last month, followed by weeks of intensive discussion at the attorney general’s offices.
Laying out the charges in a press conference, Mendelblit said he made the decision to indict the prime minister “with a heavy heart, but wholeheartedly,” stressing it was not an issue of left-wing or right-wing politics and that enforcing the law is not a matter of choice.
The attorney general lamented that “while conducting a professional hearing process, we’ve witnessed repeated attempts to delegitimize the people who were involved” in the investigations. He defended his colleagues, saying “These people acted out of proper motives”.