File - In this Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem. Israel's Justice Ministry says the attorney general will deliver his long-awaited decision on whether to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a series of corruption cases.(AP Photo/Oded Balilty, pool, File)

Israeli attorney general to decide on Netanyahu charges

November 21, 2019 - 10:21 am

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s attorney general scheduled a Thursday night news conference to announce his long-awaited decision on whether to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a series of corruption scandals.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s ruling promises to upend the Israeli political world after two inconclusive elections.

If, as widely expected, he presses charges against the prime minister, it would deal a heavy blow to Netanyahu’s hopes to remaining in office. If Netanyahu is cleared, it would give him a major boost as the country braces for the possibility of its third election in under a year.

The allegations against Netanyahu include suspicions that he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars of champagne and cigars from billionaire friends, offered to trade favors with a newspaper publisher and used his influence to help a wealthy telecom magnate in exchange for favorable coverage on a popular news site.  

Netanyahu has called the allegations part of a witch hunt, lashing out against the media, police, prosecutors and the justice system.

Netanyahu scheduled a press conference at 8:30 p.m. (1830 GMT), an hour after Mandelblit’s expected announcement.

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