03 October 2019 - 08:43
News ID: 447446
A
The pre-indictment hearing over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s has resumed as the premier’s last-ditch efforts to form a coalition administration with his leading election rival hit a snag again.

RNA - Netanyahu’s lawyers arrived for the pre-indictment hearing at the Israeli Justice Ministry headquarters in Jerusalem al-Quds on Wednesday.

Netanyahu, who did not accompany the lawyers, is accused of acting on behalf of specific wealthy businessmen and interest groups in exchange for gifts and positive news coverage.

Consequently, legal authorities, led by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, intend to charge the Israeli premier with bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

During the pre-indictment hearing which is to last four days, Netanyahu’s lawyers will seek to convince Mandelblit to drop the indictment.

The hearing comes as Netanyahu’s tenure as premier is threatened by his failure to conclude unity talks with centrist Blue and White alliance of former military chief Benny Gantz.

Both rivals failed to win the required parliamentary seats for a majority government after a second round of inconclusive Israeli elections last month.

Netanyahu, which has been given 42 days by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to form a unity government, had intended to meet Gantz on Wednesday as part of a “last effort.”

Gant’s Blue and White alliance, however, announced on Tuesday that it would not take part in the talks planned for Wednesday given that its “pre-conditions” had not been met.

Gantz and Netanyahu’s main point of disagreement is reportedly over who will first take on the role of prime minister in a possible rotation agreement.

Gantz has also vowed not to be part of a government led by a premier facing criminal charges.

Given the failure of the intended Wednesday negotiations, Netanyahu may have to inform Rivlin that he is unable to for a unity government.

Rivlin may then proceed to ask Gantz to fulfill the task or alternatively call on the Israeli parliament to make a final decision by granting either presidential rival at least a minimum of 61 votes out of the total 120 parliamentary seats.

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