Mandelblit to Announce Decision on Netanyahu Indictment

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.
(Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said he would announce later on Thursday his decision on whether to indict Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over alleged corruption.

Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing in the three corruption cases, saying he is a victim of a political witch-hunt.

Mandelblit will disclose his decision at a news conference at 7:30 p.m. (12:30 EST), a Justice Ministry statement said. The ministry said the announcement will be at the ministry’s headquarters in Yerushalayim, and that Mandelblit will take no questions from the media.

Police recommended in February that he file criminal charges against Netanyahu in the long-running investigations.

Netanyahu is suspected of wrongfully accepting $264,000 worth of gifts, which prosecutors said included cigars and champagne from tycoons, and of dispensing favors in alleged bids for improved coverage by an Israeli newspaper and a website.

He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of bribery and a maximum 3-year term for fraud and breach of trust.

If, as widely expected, charges will be announced, it would be the first time Israel is led by a prime minister facing an indictment.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu will deliver a statement at 8:30 p.m., at his residence in Yerushalayim.