Netanyahu Slapped With Draft Bribery Indictment, Israeli TV Says

(Bloomberg) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was formally notified Thursday that the attorney general plans to put him on trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust, Israeli TV reported.

The draft indictment, while expected, sent tremors through Israel’s political landscape, coming just 40 days before what’s shaping up to be a closely fought election. It’s the first time a sitting Israeli leader has ever come so close to criminal charges.

Before any indictment is filed, Netanyahu is entitled to a hearing to present his side of the story and try to change Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit’s mind, a process that could take months. The prime minister, who cut short a trip to Moscow in anticipation of Mandelblit’s decision, had no immediate comment, but has vehemently denied wrongdoing.

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