בנימין נתניהו הגיע לבית המשפט בעת עדותו של ניר חפץ
Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: Reuters
Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit

Attorney General rejects Netanyahu's terms for plea deal

Former PM attorney suggest he will admit to 2 counts of fraud and breach of trust, will be sentenced to community service for less than three months, and will not be barred from running in the next election, Mandelblit claims government corruption must be seen as moral turpitude

Nahum Barnea, Tova Zimuki |
Published: 01.13.22, 22:06
Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attorney Boaz Ben Tzur recently approached Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit in an effort to secure a plea deal and end his trial on charges of corruption, according to media reports on Thursday.
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  • Netanyahu is on trial in the Jerusalem District Court on charges of bribery, breach of trust and fraud.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit
    Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit
    Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi, Yoav Dudkevitch)
    The timing of the talks was linked to the end of the AG's term in office, scheduled for the end of January.
    Mandelblit was said to aspire to complete most of the volatile, ongoing cases, before handing over his office to the next attorney general.
    In a recent and controversial deal reached with Shas leader Aryeh Deri, Mandelblit did not insist on a moral turpitude clause - which would have seen the disgraced politician prevented from running for public office for seven years. This would be an outcome Netanyahu hopes to see repeated if a deal is made in his corruption case.
    Only four people from the Justice Ministry's prosecution, were in the know, about Netanyahu's attempts to reach a plea deal.
    In addition to Mandelblit, and the new State Attorney, Amit Isman, was involved, the prosecutor in the former PMs bribery case and a senior advisor to the AG, who's doctoral thesis was on disgraced public figures and the moral turpitude clause.
    Mandelblit was approached a number of weeks ago, by Netanyahu's attorney. The attorney general's office defined the conversation as a "feasibility check" and not a negotiation.
    Negotiations will only be conducted with the participation of all the lawyers involved in the corruption cases, so they all could have their say.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    בנימין נתניהו הגיע לבית המשפט בעת עדותו של ניר חפץ
    בנימין נתניהו הגיע לבית המשפט בעת עדותו של ניר חפץ
    Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Ben Tzur claimed that his client was very sensitive to every news report or any leak, as explanation for his involvement only.
    But initial negotiations did take place, and the proposal brought forth by Ben Tzur, was that the charge of bribery, involving legislative favors to communications mogul Shaul Elovitch, be dropped, Netanyahu will admit to two counts of fraud and breach of trust, and be sentenced to community service for less than three months.
    He also insisted that the indicted opposition leader would not be charged for acting on the grounds of "moral turpitude," citing the precedence of the Deri's deal.
    Ben Tzur said Netanyahu will promise to withdraw from the Knesset and not return for an unspecified time.
    But Mandelblit rejected the offer, claiming that the Deri deal involved tax violations, and the case in question deals with governmental corruption.
    The moral turpitude clause therefore, cannot be overridden, and the defendant's goodwill cannot be trusted. according to the reports.
    These charges can only end with a prison term or with more than three months of community service along with a seven-year exclusion from participating in elections to the Knesset and holding a position in the government.
    The failure of the negotiation at this time may not mean that the trial will continue to its end and talks will continue.

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