Netanyahu asks Knesset for immunity

Benjamin Netanyahu  / Photo: Screenshot, Globes
Benjamin Netanyahu / Photo: Screenshot, Globes

It is unclear whether the Knesset House Committee will grant Benjamin Netanyahu immunity but the request suspends the criminal proceedings against him.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces trial on three major and complicated indictments for bribery, fraud and breach of trust, today asked Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein to be granted  immunity from criminal prosecution and standing trial by the Israeli parliament.

This is an unprecedented situation in Israel's political history. Ehud Olmert stood down as Prime Minister once indicted. It is unclear whether Netanyahu will be granted immunity by the Knesset House Committee. But the request suspends criminal proceedings and a decision is not likely to be taken until after the March 2 elections - meaning Netanyahu's fitness to rule will again be an issue in the upcoming elections.

Netanyahu told a nationally televised press conference this evening that he was not evading a trial and fully intended to fight these 'groundless slanders.' But he added, "To my regret, what is happening in my case, is I'm being framed, extorted by threts from state's witnesses, a flood of systematic leaks, and brainwashing to incite against me and make this a kangaroo court against me by the public. And most amazingly, there is an innovative accusation against me. I am accused of receiving positive coverage. Don't laugh, it's true."

Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Liberman said on his Facebook page that he would oppose immunity. "Now it's clear and beyond all doubt. The only thing that interests Netanyahu is immunity."

Blue & White chairman Benny Gantz said, "Today it is clear what we are fighting against. Netanyahu knows that he is guilty. Somebody who thinks there is nothing because there is nothing would not be scared and would stand trial."

Legal proceedings against Benjamin Netanyahu are still in progress. He denies the charges against him, and is entitled to the presumption of innocence.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on January 1, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

Benjamin Netanyahu  / Photo: Screenshot, Globes
Benjamin Netanyahu / Photo: Screenshot, Globes
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