09:44 GMT +308 December 2019
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    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin (R) attend a press conference at the president's residence in Jerusalem on April 20, 2015

    Israeli President Rivlin May Consider Pardoning Netanyahu – Report

    © AFP 2019 / POOL / ABIR SULTAN
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    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is charged in three high-profile criminal cases related to bribery, fraud, corruption and misuse of power. Netanyahu denies wrongdoing and has threatened to stay in power even if sentenced after having been found guilty.

    Israeli President Reuven Rivlin was reported on Wednesday to be mulling a pardon for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, under conditions that the latter retire from politics and admit to every charge against him, according to The Jerusalem Post, citing Israel's Channel 12.

    Netanyahu reportedly has not yet responded yet to the president’s recommendation, which has been suggested numerous times by several mediators and has every time been rejected by the PM.

    A former lawyer for Netanyahu, who died in October 2018, reportedly tried in the past to convince his boss to accept the bargain, but his attempts failed every time.

    Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is also reported to be ready to support President Rivlin’s suggestion of a pardon for Netanyahu in exchange for full culpability and retirement. Neither Rivlin nor Mandelblit have publicly confirmed the offer.

    The Jerusalem Post’s report noted that pressure on Netanyahu to accept the deal may hinge on a guarantee to avoid a third election this year.

    Many Tel Aviv politicians reportedly affirm that Netanyahu’s resignation would pave the way to quickly reach an agreement between Likud and the Blue and White alliance for the formation of a unity government in the country before the 11 December deadline. The Knesset will be dispersed if no government is formed.

    In February, the Israeli prime minister, along with members of his family including his wife, was formally charged in three lawsuits related to corruption, fraud and misuse of the power of his office. In November, Netanyahu was hit with additional criminal charges.

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    Knesset, Israel, corruption, Benjamin Netanyahu, Reuven Rivlin
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