Israel’s Netanyahu Indicted on Charges of Fraud, Bribery and Breach of Trust

The three cases against Mr. Netanyahu all involve trading official favors.

In the most serious, in which he was charged with accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust, Mr. Netanyahu was accused of providing regulatory benefits worth hundreds of millions of dollars as a bribe to the parent company of Walla, a leading Israeli news website, for favorable coverage of the prime minister and his family, and rough treatment of his adversaries.

Bribery is considered the gravest corruption charge in Israel.

In the two other cases, Mr. Netanyahu was charged with fraud and breach of trust.

In one, Mr. Mandelblit said the Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, an expatriate Israeli, along with the Australian billionaire James Packer, had sent hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts to the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem, including what he called a “veritable supply chain” of cigars and Champagne.

In return, Mr. Mandelblit said, Mr. Netanyahu in return had taken actions benefiting Mr. Milchan on a visa application, a tax exemption and a business merger.

In the other, Mr. Netanyahu was accused of discussing, though not consummating, another trade for favorable coverage. Prosecutors said that in calls with the publisher of Yediot Ahronot, one of Israel’s biggest newspapers, Mr. Netanyahu offered to press a competing newspaper, Israel Hayom, to curtail its free circulation, which was undercutting Yediot financially.

Israel Hayom is owned by Sheldon Adelson, the American billionaire casino owner who is a longtime supporter of Mr. Netanyahu’s.