Attorney General Avichai Mandleblit announced Sunday his decision to indict Likud MK David Bitan on nine counts of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.
According to the indictment, Bitan is charged with receiving bribes in the sum of NIS 992 thousand ($287 thousand) subject to a pre-indictment hearing that will take place in April.
The investigation of Bitan’s conduct by the police, dubbed case 1803, ended about a year ago and is considered as one of the most complex and wide-reaching probes to have ever taken place in Israel.
The probe included testimonies of over 300 witnesses and investigations of some 80 suspects.
The Likud lawmaker who is a close confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allegedly accepted bribes in exchange for political favors, as a legislator and deputy mayor of Rishon Lezion.
Ephraim Dimri, a lawyer representing Bitan, dismissed the charges, saying they would be cleared in the pre-indictment hearing.
Earlier this month, Bitan announced he was backing away from his nomination for the position of agriculture minister out of concern that the Supreme Court to block his appointment.