Netanyahu pulls request for immunity on corruption charges

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives to deliver a statement during a news conference in Jerusalem, on September 18, 2019. (File photo: Reuters)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu withdrew his request for immunity from prosecution on Tuesday, hours before parliamentary proceedings were set to begin.

In a statement issued on his official Facebook page, Netanyahu, who was visiting Washington ahead of the launch of President Donald Trump’s peace plan, said he “decided not to let this dirty game continue.”

Israel’s parliament, called the the Knesset, was set to convene to discuss the formation of a committee to debate the prime minister’s request for immunity from prosecution.

Netanyahu was indicted on counts of fraud, breach of trust and bribery in November in three separate cases. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Netanyahu’s Likud party was planning to boycott the Knesset session.

“In this fateful hour for the people of Israel, when I am in the United States on a historic mission to design the permanent borders of Israel and ensure our security for decades to come, the Knesset is expected to open another exhibition in the circus of removing immunity,” Netanyahu wrote.

Netanyahu and Trump were scheduled to meet Tuesday at the White House for the announcement of the Trump administration’s long-anticipated peace plan.

Netanyahu’s retraction of his immunity request paves the way for legal proceedings against the prime minister to go forward with the country’s third parliamentary elections scheduled for March 2.

The Knesset was still expected to assemble despite Netanyahu’s withdrawal of his request to form the committee, which will also address former welfare minister Haim Katz’s request for immunity from prosecution in his own corruption cases.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:01 - GMT 07:01
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