these cases that led to the prosecution of Benyamin Netanyahu

The Israeli prime minister is being prosecuted for corruption, fraud and breach of trust in several cases, which could be worth 10 years in prison.

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Supporters of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu gathered outside his home in Jerusalem on November 21 after the announcement of his indictment. Ariel Schalit / AP

Israel's attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, finally withdrew all the charges brought against the prime minister in March, in the act he made public on Thursday (November 21st). Benyamin Netanyahu is prosecuted in three separate cases, once for corruption, and three times for fraud and breach of trust.

In the worst case, the "4,000 case", he is accused of having changed the legal framework regulating the Israeli telecom market, offering the operator Bezeq a heavy financial advantage. In exchange, his former owner, the mogul Shaul Elovich (also charged), would have facilitated a positive coverage of Mr. Netanyahu in his online media Walla!. The accusation of corruption could be worth ten years in prison.

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"They crushed" the main witness

On Thursday evening, the prime minister was outraged by the methods of interrogation used by the investigators in this case, under the authority of the former boss of the police, Roni Alsheikh, former number two of the internal security service, the Shin Bet. "They crashed" the main witness, Nir Hefetz, former media advisor to the Netanyahu family. "They threatened to destroy his family, to take all his property. They told him that his children would not speak to him anymore, " hammered the prime minister.

Mr. Mandelblit believes that the businessman and the prime minister were bound by "Mutual understanding: both had significant interests, which the other party had the means to advance". Mr. Netanyahu would have provided the investigators "Partial and misleading information" on this relationship, seeking to mask its nature.

In the second investigation, the "2000 case", the prosecutor also withheld charges of fraud and breach of trust, punishable by three years in prison. This case is based on telephone conversations recorded by Mr. Nétayahou and his interlocutor, the boss Arnon Mozes, he also charged.

He had promised the owner of the big daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot, a reduction, by the Parliament, of the circulation of a rival, the free newspaper of the right, Israel Hayom. This agreement was only ephemeral. Mr. Netanyahu finally exchanged no favor with this man of influence, whom he boasted to dare " make war ", unlike its predecessors. But Mr. Mandelblit concluded that this fool's game was none the less illegal.

Cigars, champagne, jewelry and travel

Finally, the "1000 file" summarizes Netanyahu's complex relationship with money. The prosecutor considers that he has established, with his wife, "A kind of supply line" in luxury goods – cigars, champagne, jewelery and travel – in exchange for favors given to Israeli billionaires Arnon Milchan and Australian James Packer. The whole is valued at 180,000 euros.

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Accustomed, since the 1980s, to a flamboyant lifestyle, thanks to the help of patrons, Mr. Netanyahu has a personal fortune valued at 12.6 million euros by the Israeli edition of the magazine Forbes. The Prime Minister has never denied taking advantage of the donations for which he is being sued. However, he remains convinced that he has not failed, according to his biographer, Anshel Pfeffer.

On the contrary, in serving his country, assuming public functions with salary limits, Mr. Netanyahu has, in the past, claimed to have sacrificed a promising career in the private sector in the United States. This would have placed him among the very rich businessmen he likes to attend. During a hearing before the police, he divided these donors into "Brothers", "friends", "admirers" and "Believers".


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