Netanyahu Was Just Indicted. Can He Remain PM After Charges and Get Immunity?

The indictment that was filed on Thursday against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu creates a first-of-its-kind situation in the country’s history, which will likely lead to precedent-setting judicial decisions.

In the coming weeks and months, the political system will also have to adapt to the new situation. Netanyahu is seeking immunity from indictment. This is a serious issue Israeli lawmakers will have to tackle – perhaps via legislation. The premier is being charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in Case 4000, and with fraud and breach of trust in Case 1000 and Case 2000.

– Haaretz Weekly Ep. 49

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 49Haaretz

Here are some answers to the most pressing questions that arise from this dramatic development.

Doesn't Netanyahu automatically get immunity from prosecution due to his status as a member of Knesset?

Netanyahu has 30 days to request that the Knesset plenum grant him immunity so that he may avoid criminal trial. He is expected to ask to be granted this immunity, but if he does not do so within the allotted time, the legal proceedings against him will begin.

If the prime minister does submit his request, the Knesset's House Committee will discuss whether he should be given immunity. Should the committee approve this request, it will then be put to a vote in the Knesset plenum.

However, since Israel's first election was held this year in April, no new House Committee has been appointed. Therefore, there currently isn't a body authorized to make this decision.