Israel’s attorney general to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges

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Israel’s attorney general intends to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges.

Avichai Mandel-blit said Mr Netanyahu would face charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in connection with three cases, pending a final hearing.

The prime minister is alleged to have accepted gifts from wealthy businessmen and dispensed favours to try to get more favourable press coverage.

Mr Netanyahu, who is facing an election in April, has denied any wrongdoing.

He has said he is the victim of a left-wing “witch-hunt” intended to topple him ahead of a closely contested general election on 9 April.

The prime minister will have an opportunity to make his case against the indictments at the final hearing, which is likely to take place after the election.

If his arguments are rejected, it will be the first time in Israel’s history that a sitting prime minister has faced criminal charges.

Opposition parties have said there is no way Mr Netanyahu should carry on as prime minister if that happens.

BBC/JUDE