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Netanyahu's corruption charges explained

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Netanyahu's corruption charges explained

Netanyahu's corruption charges explained

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces the greatest challenge yet to his political survival as corruption charges were filed against him this week following an investigation.

Lucy Fielder reports.

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Netanyahu's corruption charges explained

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving prime minister, faces the greatest challenge yet to his political survival.

He was indicted this week on corruption charges after a long investigation.

Netanyahu says he's the victim of a witch-hunt and denies any wrongdoing.

It follows several political blows -- he failed to win two inconclusive elections this year, and a third looms. Don't expect dramatic developments though -- the legal process could drag on for years.

Here's a look at the three criminal cases against the man dubbed 'King Bibi'.

One alleges that he granted regulatory favors to Israel's top telecoms company, Bezeq, in return for positive coverage of him and his wife Sara on a news website Bezeq owns.

The charges: bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Second up: accusations that the couple received gifts such as champagne and cigars from a prominent Israeli Hollywood producer, Arnon Milchan, and Australian billionaire businessman James Packer.

Fraud and breach of trust are the charges there.

Finally, Netanyahu is suspected of bargaining with the owner of Israel's best-selling daily paper -- Yedioth Ahronoth -- for better coverage.

In return for legislation that would hamper the growth of a rival publication.

That one carries fraud and breach of trust.

Potential sentences though are steep.

A bribery conviction could send Netanyahu down for up to ten years, while fraud and breach of trust carry sentences of up to three years.

Netanyahu isn't legally obliged to stand down unless he's convicted -- so much depends on whether his allies stick by him.

Many Israelis are sick of the paralysis and may see this as a chance for Israel to emerge from Netanyahu's shadow.



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