‘What are they afraid of?’ Israeli PM rejects allegations on live TV

Jerusalem: In what was billed as a “dramatic announcement,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a prime-time address on Monday to again dismiss a series of corruption allegations against him.

Netanyahu said that it would be “unjust” for him to be indicted ahead of early elections called for April 9 without a chance to respond to the claims against him.

He said authorities had denied his requests to confront state witnesses in person, and he offered to do so on live television. “What are they afraid of? What do they have to hide?” he said.

Police have recommended indicting Netanyahu on an array of charges stemming from three corruption investigations, but it falls to Netanyahu’s hand-picked attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, to decide whether to bring charges.

It’s unclear whether he will do so before early elections scheduled for April 9.

Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and branded the investigations a “witch hunt” orchestrated by his political opponents and a hostile media. He has said he will not give up his re-election campaign or resign from office if indicted.

Read the article in The Sydney Morning Herald (AP).