Thu, 27 Feb 2020

Netanyahu Drops Immunity Request on Corruption Charges

Voice of America
28 Jan 2020, 22:05 GMT+10

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday he withdrew his request for immunity from prosecution on corruption charges.

In a statement posted on his official Facebook page, Netanyahu said he had informed the speaker of the Knesset of his decision, and that he did not want to take part in what he called this "dirty game."

The Israeli parliament was due to meet Tuesday to discuss forming a committee to debate Netanyahu's request for immunity.

With his decision, the path is now clear for legal proceedings against Netanyahu to move forward. Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing.

He was charged in November, in three separate cases, with bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

In one case, he is accused of accepting valuable gifts from friends and acquaintances of cigars, champagne and jewelry. In the most serious case, Netanyahu allegedly promoted regulations that benefited the Israeli telecom giant Bezeq in exchange for favorable press coverage.

The developments come as Netanyahu seeks re-election in March.

His chief opponent, Benny Gantz, said Tuesday that voters have the choice between a prime minister who will work for them, or one who will work for himself.

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