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Newstalk

16.55 21 Nov 2019


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Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been indicted on corruption charges, the country's attorney-general has announced.

The charges include bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

It raises further uncertainty over the political future of a country heading towards a third election in less than a year.

Mr Netanyahu, who has denied wrongdoing in three corruption cases, is under no obligation to resign after being charged.

The allegations include suspicions that he accepted hundreds of thousands of euro worth of champagne and cigars from billionaire friends - and offered to trade favours with a newspaper publisher.

He has also been accused of using his influence to help a wealthy telecoms magnate in exchange for favourable coverage on a popular news site.

He has previously dismissed the investigations into him as a "witch hunt".

Mr Netanyahu has been prime minister there since 2009, but has failed to form a government after a trio of public votes.

Opposition leader Benny Gantz was also unable to secure a coalition.

The current situation is that the Israeli parliament has less than three weeks to nominate any of its 120 lawmakers to try and establish a coalition, otherwise another election will be triggered within 90 days.

Previous ballots this year have been held in April and September.

Despite his recent troubles, Mr Netanyahu remains leader of the Likud Party.

The 70-year-old is the longest-serving leader in Israel, having first served from June 1996 until July 1999 and started his second tenure back in March 2009.


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Attorney General Benjamin Netanyahu Benny Gantz Bribery Corruption Charges Fraud Israeli Prime Minister Likud Party

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