Netanyahu on corruption cases: ‘Even if there’s a hearing I won’t quit’

Netanyahu says he will not resign even if the attorney general’s office brings charges against him.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Benjamin Netanyahu says he will not resign as prime minister even if the attorney general’s office moves ahead with corruption charges. Netanyahu made his comments on Monday during a press conference in Brazil, where he is visiting to celebrate the inauguration of President-elect Jair Bolsanoro.

“I don’t intend to resign because I believe there’s nothing [to the case]. Second, Israel is country of law and according to the law there’s no reason to resign before the conclusion of the hearing — in a democracy you establish who’ll be in power according to the ballots,” he said.

Netanyahu said at the press conference that he opposes the idea of starting the hearing process just before elections if that process can’t be concluded before the elections as well.

“Imagine what would happen if a prime minister is ousted before the hearing is finished, and then after the hearing they decide to close the case. It’s absurd. It’s a terrible blow to democracy,” he said.

Whether Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit will bring charges before the election has been the subject of much speculation in the Israeli press. Last week, Israeli law enforcement officials signaled that Mandelblit would wait for fear of appearing to try and influence the outcome of the elections which are scheduled for April 9.

The Justice Ministry denied there would be any delay.

Netanyahu is involved in several corruption cases.

On Dec. 2, Israeli police recommended charging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in the corruption probe known as Case 4000, or the “Walla-Bezeq Affair.” The police also urged charging his wife, Sara, and several others.

Netanyahu denies all charges and accuses the police and the Israeli media of engaging in a witch hunt against him.