Israel’s attorney general announced his intent to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a series of corruption allegations Thursday. The much-anticipated decision is a momentous move that could potentially end the prime minister’s political career, and may affect Israel’s heated April 9 election. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit defended his decision to make the announcement prior to the election, noting “the public’s right to know about important legal decisions.” The announcement comes after more than two years of intense investigations and deliberations. Israeli police have recommended indicting Netanyahu for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in three different cases. The PM has vowed not to resign over the allegations. Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party described the reported charges as “political persecution.”
A hearing will be held before Netanyahu is formally charged, but it likely won’t take place until after the election. Such hearings give the legal team of the person accused the chance to dispute any evidence that accompanies the state’s decision to indict. The impending indictment stems from three separate corruption cases, one of which involves allegedly receiving gifts from a Hollywood mogul in return for political favors.