Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been accused of corruption, fraud & breach of trust and the trial for the same has begun in Jerusalem. He becomes the first Prime Minister in the history of the country, to face trials. Netanyahu is the longest-serving Prime Minister in the country, from the Likud party.
He has been charged in three cases, namely 1000, 2000 and 4000-
Case 1000- Fraud and breach of trust: accused of getting gifts from powerful businessmen, like champagne and cigars, in exchange of favors.
Case 2000- Fraud and breach of trust: accused of offering to help the newspaper ‘YediotAhronot’ in circulation, in exchange of positive coverage of him.
Case 3000- Fraud, breach of trust and bribery: accused of promoting regulatory decisions, which were favorable to the controlling shareholders, in exchange of positive coverage of him on their news site.
Netanyahu has strongly denied all the charges levied against him. He has accused his political opponents of “witch- hunting him”, to remove him as the Prime Minister.
According to laws in Israel, a leader in power, charged with a criminal offence is not required to resign. However, there’s no precedent to prove the same. Earlier in 2008, when PM Ehud Olmert was accused of corruption, he resigned as the party leader during the investigation but remained the PM on technical terms, until new elections were held, by which Netanyahu came back to power.
The opposition has criticized the occupancy of Netanyahu as PM, when simultaneously he is trying to clear his name from a criminal charge. They have said that, this whole situation is an embarrassment and that affects the spirit of the nation in a horrible way.