Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial resumed on Tuesday with a returning key witness for prosecution saying he received threats following his testimony a day earlier.
The start of the evidentiary phase of Netanyahu's corruption trial began on Monday, one year and four months after Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust against him. He denies any wrongdoing.
The prosecution began the evidentiary phase by presenting the first set of charges in what is known as Case 4000. According to the charges, former Walla owner Shaul Elovitch is accused with Netanyahu of allegedly conspiring to provide the prime minister with positive news coverage in return for favorable legislation for the Bezeq telecoms giant that he also ran at the time.
Ilan Yeshua, the former CEO of Walla! Communications, is at the center of Case 4000 and he took the stand for a second day in a row.
Netanyahu's defense team arrived at the courthouse without him after the prime minister attended the hearing's opening statement a day earlier.
At the beginning of the hearing on Tuesday, prosecutor Liat Ben-Ari said that Yeshua received threats after his testimony a day earlier, where he claimed he was told regularly by Elovitch to make the coverage about Netanyahu and his family more favorable as to not hurt "Bezeq decisions".
"The unpleasant messages, which he feels he has a problem with, were passed to the police," Ben-Ari told the court. One of the judges responded: "When a witness says he has received unpleasant messages, it can have an effect on his conduct in court."
Both Netanyahu and Elovitch's defense teams tried to undermine Yeshua's claims, telling judges his testimony in court differs from the one he gave during police interrogation.
"There are dramatic gaps between the testimony he gave to police and the version he gave here," said Boaz Ben Tzur, the head of Netanyahu's legal counsel.
Prosecutor Yehudit Tirosh insisted Yeshua's testimony in court is "consistent with his confessions to the police."
Yeshua's testimony is set to continue over the next several hearings.