Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has been accused of abusing his powers by prosecutor Liat Ben Ari in a Jerusalem court, claiming that he pursued undue benefits from major media owners in Israel in order to further his personal interests. Netanyahu has dismissed all of the allegations levelled against him, calling them a political witch hunt vowing to clear his name. He has been indicted in three cases famously known as 1,000, 2,000 and 4,000.
- Case 1,000 – Fraud and breach of trust: he is accused of accepting gifts from wealthy businessmen, mostly cigars and bottles of champagne, in return for favors.
- Case 2,000 – Mr Netanyahu is accused of promising to help increase the circulation of Israel’s Yediot Ahronot newspaper in return for favorable coverage.
- Case 4,000 – Bribery, bribery, and breach of trust: Mr Netanyahu is accused of supporting regulatory decisions favorable to Shaul Elovitch, the majority shareholder in the Bezeq telecom giant, in return for favorable coverage by Mr Elovitch’s Walla news site when he was PM and minister of communications at the time of the alleged offence.
As the prime minister arrived for the start of the trial’s evidentiary stage on Monday, thousands of Netanyahu supporters and demonstrators demanding his removal from office gathered outside the Jerusalem District Court. He also said that the charges levelled against him were incomplete fabrications, claiming that “lots of details are missing, even from the prosecution’s perspective.”