A defiant Benjamin Netanyahu rejected all allegations of fraud on Thursday, saying he would not step down as Israel’s prime minister despite being indicated on a series of corruption charges.
Netanyahu denounced what he called the “false” and “politically motivated” allegations, hours after being charged by the attorney general with bribery, fraud and breach of trust. He denied all wrongdoing.
“What is going on here is an attempt to stage a coup against the prime minister,” Netanyahu said. “The object of the investigations was to oust the right wing from government.”
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced the indictment earlier on Thursday, calling it a “heavy-hearted decision” based only on solid legal evidence.
But Netanyahu said the investigators “weren’t after the truth, they were after me”.
In a 15-minute speech, Netanyahu railed against his political rivals and state institutions, accusing the police and judiciary of bias. The veteran politician argued it was time for an “investigation of the investigators”, and vowed to continue in his position despite potential court dates and intense political pressure.
“I will continue to lead this country, according to the letter of the law,” he said. “I will not allow lies to win.”