ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing corruption charges after allegedly accepting gifts from wealthy businessmen and giving favours in exchange for positive press coverage. Charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust are expected to be brought by Israel’s attorney general in connection with three cases. Mr Netanyahu, who is up for election next month, said in a TV address that the attempt to indict him would “collapse like a house of cards”. He is accused of accepting luxury gifts – including cigars, pink champagne and jewellery worth $246,100 (£199,200) from Hollywood film producer Arnon Milchan and the Australian billionaire James Packer. Mr Milchan’s gifts were allegedly in return for help with a US visa and tax breaks. Both Mr Milchan and Mr Packer denied any wrongdoing and face no charges. But the embattled Israeli PM also faces two more cases linked to charges of fraud and breach of trust after allegedly trying to get more favourable press coverage for himself. ‘BRIBE-BASED RELATIONSHIP’ More damaging are accusations he struck deals with Israli media mogul Shaul Elovitch, who owns the country’s largest telecom company Bezeq. In return for positive coverage on an Elovitch-owned news site Mr Netanyahu allegedly made regulatory… Read full this story
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