Netanyahu faces pre-indictment hearing for corruption case

Israeli prime minister’s lawyers to argue pending charges should be dropped

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photograph: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photograph: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty

 

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s long-awaited pre-indictment hearing has started.

Mr Netanyahu’s lawyers arrived on Wednesday at the justice ministry in Jerusalem to argue that pending corruption charges against him should be dropped.

Israel’s attorney general has recommended charging Mr Netanyahu with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases.

Mr Netanyahu has denied wrongdoing, calling them part of a media-orchestrated witch hunt.

He has long promised he will clear his name in the hearing.

The sessions are expected to extend over four days.

It could take several weeks for the attorney general to render his final decision.

The hearing follows Israel’s second inconclusive election of the year.

Mr Netanyahu is currently trying to build another coalition government, but the centrist Blue and White party is refusing to partner with him because of his legal troubles. – AP