נתניהו באולם בית המשפט
Prime Minister Netanyahu (R) with attorneys awaiting the start of his trial at the Jerusalem District Court
Photo: Amit Shabi
Prime Minister Netanyahu, right, with his attorneys at the start of his trial in Jerusalem in May

PM must answer criminal charges in court in December

PM accused of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in three separate probes; witnesses to begin testifying in January; prosecutors reject claim by co-defendant Shaul Elovitch that they deliberately withheld evidence from the defense team

Yael Friedson |
Published: 07.26.20 , 15:21
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been instructed to appear in court on Dec. 6 to answer charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, the Jerusalem District Court said on Sunday.
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  • According to the schedule announced last week by the court, the prime minister will be required to attend the evidence phase of his trial three times a week starting in January.
    נתניהו באולם בית המשפטנתניהו באולם בית המשפט
    Prime Minister Netanyahu, right, with his attorneys at the start of his trial in Jerusalem in May
    (Photo: Amit Shabi)
    Prosecutors on Sunday rejected claims by the lawyers for communications mogul Shaul Elovitch, who is a co-defendant in one of the cases against Netanyahu, that the prosecution concealed evidence.
    Netanyahu is accused of accepting bribes in the form of favorable coverage on the Bezeq-owned Walla! News website in return for promoting regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the telecom company and its then-majority shareholder Elovitch.
    שאול אלוביץ' בבית המשפטשאול אלוביץ' בבית המשפט
    Shaul Elovitch in court last year
    (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
    According to Elovitch's lawyers, prosecutors failed to provide the defense with details of some investigative sessions in which allegedly illegal pressure was put on the former Bezeq boss' son Lior to convince his father to turn state evidence.
    Netanyahu was indicted in January in cases 1000, 2000, and 4000 after a years-long investigation. He has denied all charges and has repeatedly claimed he was being hounded by the police, the prosecution, and particularly the Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, all motivated by a desire to remove him from power in contradiction of the will of voters who elected him.
    The prime minister's trial began earlier this month. Before entering the courtroom Netanyahu addressed the media repeating claims that he was being unjustly persecuted by the judicial system.
    הצהרה אביחי מנדלבליט על תיקי נתניהו הצהרה אביחי מנדלבליט על תיקי נתניהו
    Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit discusses his decision to indict Benjamin Netanyahu, Nov. 2019
    (Photo: GPO)
    Other defendants in the cases against Netanyahu include Elovitch and his wife Iris and Yedioth Ahronoth and Ynet publisher Arnon Mozes.
    Mozes is a defendant in Case 2000, which concerns alleged discussions between him and Netanyahu over a quid pro quo of positive media for the prime minister in return for Netanyahu weakening main rival newspaper Israel Hayom.
    In the third case, Case 1000, Netanyahu is accused of receiving expensive gifts worth up to one million shekels from Israeli Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer.
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