After more than 500 days of electoral deadlock in which he fought for his political survival, Benjamin Netanyahu takes his seat in the Jerusalem District Court for a new battle – to stay out of prison and avoid a stain on his legacy.
Unanimous decision, released just before midnight, ends a more than year-long political stalemate and prevents the country from plunging into a fourth consecutive election in just over a year.
There are more than 300 prosecution witnesses for the indictment in Israel's Parliament in three graft cases against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is dogged by corruption charges and an election stalemate, denies wrongdoing and faces no legal requirement to leave the government if indicted if he remains the PM.
Close to becoming Israel's longest-serving prime minister, Netanyahu faces several corruption accusations and a recent high-level defection from his flock could mean that his troubles have multiplied.
According to the original indictment, Sara Netanyahu, along with a government employee, fraudulently obtained from the state more than $100,000 for hundreds of meals supplied by restaurants, bypassing regulations.
Israelis head to the polls on April 9 to choose parliament and a new prime minister from two candidates facing allegations of corruption: Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz.
Israeli police say there is enough evidence to charge Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a third case.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls the allegations against him in all three cases a plot by his political enemies to force him from office.
Netanyahu's coalition government was hanging on to rule by a one-seat majority, nearly losing power after the threat of early elections. While the Prime Minster survived, growing corruption allegations against him may unseat him.
Benjamin Netanyahu's wife, Sara, charged with fraud for ordering catered meals at their official residence worth $100,000 while falsely stating there were no cooks on staff, justice ministry says.
Nir Hefetz has apparently agreed to turn state's witness and testify against the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in return for a more lenient punishment. But police placed a gag order on the case and refused to comment.
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