Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (File pic)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (File pic)

Benjamin Netanyahu indicted on graft charges after dropping immunity bid

ANI | Updated: Jan 28, 2020 21:13 IST

Tel Aviv [Israel], Jan 28 (ANI): Israel's Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit filed an indictment on Tuesday charging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in three corruption cases.
It came after the embattled leader withdrew a request for parliamentary immunity from prosecution on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in connection with three separate cases, according to Jerusalem Post.
Mandelblit had announced his final indictment last November, but could not file it until the prime minister's immunity request process was concluded. Netanyahu, however, has denied any wrongdoing in the cases.
"In accordance with the provisions of the Knesset Immunity Law, their rights and obligations, the indictment was not submitted to the court, in order to allow a hearing on the PM's request for immunity," the indictment stated.
"Following the Prime Minister's announcement today that he is withdrawing his request for immunity from the Knesset, we are updating that the indictment was filed shortly before the Jerusalem District Court, as required by law," it added.
Netanyahu withdrew his request for immunity from prosecution just hours before the Knesset, or the Israeli parliament was scheduled to hold a vote on the request.
Tuesday's filing could impact the upcoming parliamentary election scheduled to be held on March 2 -- the third in less than a year -- and change the course of negotiations over forming the new government and also who will become the new prime minister.
Netanyahu, who is visiting Washington ahead of the launch of President Donald Trump's long-anticipated Middle East peace plan, said in a statement that he "decided not to let this dirty game continue".
Netanyahu and Trump are scheduled to meet on Tuesday afternoon at the White House for the peace plan's announcement. (ANI)