Israeli PM seeks immunity

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Jerusalem

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday he would seek immunity from corruption charges, likely delaying any trial until after March elections, when he hopes to have a majority coalition that will shield him from prosecution. Netanyahu was indicted in November on charges of accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust. After failing to assemble a governing majority following back-to-back elections last year, he will get a third shot at remaining in office in March. Wednesday’s announcement essentially turns the upcoming election into a referendum on whether Netanyahu should be granted immunity and remain in office, or step down and stand trial. A recent poll indicated that a majority of Israelis oppose giving him immunity. In a nationally televised address, Netanyahu repeated his assertion that he is the victim of an unfair conspiracy, lashing out at prosecutors, the media and his political enemies.—Agencies