ISRAEL PM NETANYAHU FACES CORRUPTION CHARGES
From the Jewyork times
JERUSALEM — Israel’s attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s favored candidate for the country’s top legal job. Now, Mr. Netanyahu’s fate lies in Mr. Mandelblit’s hands.
Critics suspect that Mr. Mandelblit, having previously served as Mr. Netanyahu’s cabinet secretary, and once widely considered a Netanyahu loyalist, remains beholden to the prime minister who promoted him. Admirers say the law is Mr. Mandelblit’s only agenda and his moral compass.
Either way, Mr. Mandelblit, who rose from relative obscurity as a military prosecutor, is likely to become the most scrutinized person in Israel in the coming months.
After the Israeli police on Tuesday recommended that Mr. Netanyahu be charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two corruption cases, Mr. Mandelblit became the one who will ultimately decide, in consultation with state prosecutors, whether the evidence warrants taking Mr. Netanyahu to court.
Mr. Mandelblit rose through the ranks of the military justice system to become the military advocate general. He was catapulted into the political limelight when Mr. Netanyahu appointed him as his cabinet secretary in 2013. In his mid-50s, and a father of six, Mr. Mandelblit is known to be an avid soccer fan. He become an observant Jew in his mid-20s and wears a black skullcap.
Netanyahu Should Be Charged With Bribery and Fraud, Israeli Police Say FEB. 13, 2018
The Case Against Netanyahu: Highlights From the Police Investigation FEB. 13, 2018
His appointment two years ago to the post of attorney general was criticized by some legal experts as too swift a transition into a role that requires absolute independence as the guardian of the law and the public interest.
Although Mr. Netanyahu has blamed the left and the news media of plotting to oust him by legal means because they cannot beat him at the ballot box, Mr. Mandelblit hardly fits the profile of a politically motivated insurgent intent on bringing down the government, often described as the most right-wing and religious in Israel’s history.
From the (((BBC)))
During his first tenure as Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu was dubbed "the magician" by the local media because of his uncanny ability to extricate himself from the most difficult of situations - starting with his unexpected victory over Shimon Peres in the 1996 election.
Mr Netanyahu's luck - or expertise - may have run its course. It appears that police investigations into rumours and innuendo about corruption which have been swirling around the Netanyahu family for years are now turning into more solid cases.
There are now four police investigations - two against Mr Netanyahu and his family, two against his inner circle.
Case 1000 accuses Mr Netanyahu and his family of accepting gifts from an array of figures such as the Hollywood entrepreneur, Arnon Milchan, and the Australian businessman, James Packer, which were not "of small value and reasonable in context", according to Israeli law.