An attorney in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial on Thursday, suggested the proceedings be moved to mediation to decide whether Netanyahu received a bribe, according to a report.
The prime minister's legal counsel did not reject the proposal off-hand, a respectable television host and journalist Ilana Dayan said. Dayan presents a weekly investigative program on Israel's most-watched channel 12.
The parties to the trial are now awaiting a decision from Attorney General Gli Baharav-Miara in the matter and if she agrees, the case would be removed from the Jerusalem District Court and decided in a criminal mediation proceeding.
Discussions have been taking place behind closed doors in front of a District Court judge with no minutes recorded.
After being indicted for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in 2019, Netanyahu's trial has been ongoing since it began in April 2021 and only a small part of the witnesses have been heard.
In January of last year, Netanyahu and his lawyer Boaz Ben Tzur discussed a possible plea deal with the former attorney general and although it did not come to fruition, the prime minister's team said they were optimistic a deal could be agreed upon.
Should criminal mediation be accepted, it would be carried out by a judge who was not seated in the proceedings thus far and will be kept secret. If both sides agree with the conclusion of the mediating judge, they would still have to return to court and receive the agreement of the panel which has been deliberating Netanyahu's case.
The clear advantage would be the removal of the public eye which would make compromise and agreement more possible since Netanyahu's trial is extensively reported and has captured the interest of many Israelis who follow it closely.
Evidence presented in a mediation process would not be admissible in court, should the sides fail to agree, in which case the trial would resume.