Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit delivered his first address after deciding to indict Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in Case 4000, and fraud and breach of trust in Cases 1000 and 2000.
"Today is a sad day for Israel and for me," the attorney general said, adding that Netanyahu has many merits and he had been honored to serve with the prime minister for many years.
Mandelblit said that he made the decision to indict Netanyahu with a heavy heart, but he believes that corruption and breach of trust cannot be tolerated in Israel or in a democracy.
"Law enforcement is not a choice. It is my duty to the citizens of the state," he declared.
"The first charge is based on the investigation in Case 4000. In this case, I decided to prosecute for bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
"In Case 2000, I decided to prosecute for fraud and breach of trust. Although the prime minister did not accept the proposal, he gave Moses the impression that bribing the prime minister is a viable option that can be negotiated. All when the prime minister stood ahead of the elections. The prime minister took advantage of his governing status,” Mandelblit stated.
On Case 1000, he stated: "For years, the prime minister and his wife received, on a regular basis and within a real supply line, cigar boxes and bottles of champagne worth a total of hundreds of thousands of shekels. This was done at the same time as the prime minister was working to promote Mr. Milchan's interests."
He dismissed claims he was pressured to indict Netanyahu, saying that the decision was made “only for legal considerations and based on evidence. No other consideration influenced me.”
Mandelblit criticized the attacks on the legal establishment which accompanied the investigations against Netanyahu, calling them "violent."
There is a difference between criticism and baseless conspiracy theories," Mandelblit said,