By Louis Abrahams
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed three counts of corruption charges on prime-time television on Monday.
In a live broadcast to the nation, the Israeli leader called for “face-to-face” meetings with state witnesses so the public can see first-hand his innocence.
Netanyahu, who believes it is “unjust” to be charged ahead of April elections without a chance to defend claims against him, alleged authorities had denied his requests for meetings.
“A prime minister also has the right to fair defence,” he said. “What are they scared of?” “What are they hiding? I am not scared. I have nothing to hide.”
Police called for Netanyahu to face charges last month.
Attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit will take a final decision but it is unclear if that will occur prior to the elections.
Netanyahu denies wrongdoing, labelling investigations a “witch hunt” by political opponents and the media.
He has stated that he will halt his re-election campaign or resign his post if indicted.
All major stations covered the address.
The State Attorney’s Office said investigations had been conducted “professionally and thoroughly” against the Prime Minister aided by the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office and supervision of the State Attorney and the Attorney General.
“He (Netanyahu) wishes to create the impression that procedures against him are unfair, while in fact he is questioned with decency no other suspect receive,” they noted.
The office added, “It isn’t proper for law enforcement bodies to address details about investigations and testimonies on the media, certainly not at this stage. The Attorney General is examining the findings of the investigation, and the State Attorney’s office team is working in a professional and organised manner that isn’t, and shouldn’t, be revealed to the press.”
Police have stated there is sufficient evidence to charge Netanyahu and his wife Sara with accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust.
During investigations, former aides of Netanyahu turned witness against him.