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Israeli PM says he won’t resign over possible charges

December 31, 2018
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Kehilat Yaacov synagogue, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Dec. 28, 2018. According to the Israeli Embassy, Netanyahu will stay in Rio until Tuesday, when he will travel to Brasilia for the presidential inauguration. (Leo Correa/Pool Photo via AP)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s prime minister says he will not give up his re-election campaign even if the attorney general decides to file criminal charges.

Police have recommended that Netanyahu be indicted on corruption charges, but Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit must make the final decision. If he decides to indict, Netanyahu is still entitled to defend himself at a hearing before formal charges are filed. Mandelblit has not said whether he will act before April elections.

Speaking in Brazil on Monday, Netanyahu said the law does not require him to step aside before any hearing. He said Mandelblit should not take any action before the election unless the hearing can also be completed by then.

Netanyahu says “in a democracy, leaders are chosen through a vote, not through a partially completed legal process.”

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