Netanyahu comes out swinging: ‘It’s an attempted coup’

In a defiant statement Thursday, Netanyahu said the indictment stemmed from “false accusations” and a systematically “tainted investigation.”

By World Israel News Staff and AP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected his indictment on an array of corruption charges, saying the country is witnessing an “attempted coup” against him.

In a defiant statement Thursday, Netanyahu said the indictment stemmed from “false accusations” and a systematically “tainted investigation.”

“Investigate the investigators,” he said, attacking in particular State Attorney Shai Nitzan and Liat Ben-Ari, one of the top prosecutors who built the cases against him.

He said of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit that he wasn’t able to stand up to the pressure of Nitzan and others in the the State Attorney’s Office.

Netanyahu gave a long list of incidents in which prosecutors blocked political appointments they didn’t agree with, calling it a “method.”

He called on not only his supporters but his rivals – those of whom were “fair-minded” – to stand up to the “pollution” or “contamination” in the system.

He spoke after the attorney general announced his indictment on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three long-running corruption cases.

Netanyahu was unable to form a government following unprecedented back-to-back elections this year, in part because of his legal woes, and a third vote could be held within months.

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