Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit made his long-awaited announcement on Thursday of his intent to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of various charges in multiple criminal cases. If, after a hearing, Netanyahu is actually indicted and possibly decides to step down, he will be far from the first Israeli politician to experience such a public, legal embarrassment. Here are recent examples of Israeli politicians who had to leave office and were later convicted:
• Moshe Katsav – Resigned from the presidency on June 29, 2007. Convicted on December 30, 2010 on two accounts of rape and obstruction of justice.
• Arye Deri
– Resigned from the interior minister post in September 2003. Convicted in 1999 of taking $155,000 in bribes while interior minister.
• Tzachi Hanegbi
– Resigned from the Knesset in December 2010 due to a July 2010 perjury conviction, though he was cleared of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in making illegal political appointments as environmental minister.
• Avigdor Liberman
– Convicted in September 2001 of threatening and assaulting a 12-year-old who hit his son. Investigated but never convicted in multiple cases in which he was accused of financial wrongdoing.
• Ehud Olmert
– Resigned from the prime minister post on September 21, 2008. Convicted of breach of trust in the Talansky affair in July 2012 and of bribery in the Holyland scandal in March 2015.
• Avraham Hirschson
– Resigned from post as finance minister on July 1, 2007. Convicted on June 8, 2009 of embezzling nearly NIS 2 million from the National Labor Federation that he chaired. He also took money that did not belong to him from the March of the Living.
• Shlomo Benizri
– Resigned from the cabinet in July 2000. Convicted in April 2008 on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust for accepting favors from a contractor in return for inside information regarding foreign workers.
• Ezer Weizman
– Resigned from the presidency in July 2000 due to allegations that he had accepted large sums of money from businessmen. But due to the statute of limitations, he was never prosecuted.
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