AG approves four days of hearings in Netanyahu corruption cases, to begin Wednesday
Avichai Mandelblit, who intends to indict the prime minister for bribery, fraud and breach of trust, approved the PM's request made to hold the hearings over four days to ensure his lawyers would have sufficient time to present full arguments.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will begin his pre-indictment hearings in three corruption cases this Wednesday, local media reported Sunday.
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit approved the premier's request made last Thursday to hold them over the course of four days to ensure his lawyers would have sufficient time to present their full arguments.
The prime minister is being investigated in three separate cases: Case 1000 concerns illicit gifts Netanyahu allegedly received from business moguls Arnon Milchan and James Packer.
Case 2000 concerns alleged discussions Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes had over a quid pro quo of positive media for the prime minister in return for Netanyahu weakening Yedioth's main rival newspaper Israel Hayom.
Case 4000 involves an alleged plan to ease regulations for telecommunications mogul and Bezeq chief Shaul Elovitch in return for positive coverage on his Walla! news website, and is on the agenda for Wednesday and Thursday.
Arguments in Case 1000 and Case 2000 will be heard on Sunday and Monday next week, "a total of four consecutive hearing days which will end as stated until Yom Kippur," Mandelblit informed Netanyahu's attorneys Sunday morning, referring to the Jewish Day of Atonement that begins at sunset on Tuesday, October 8.
On Thursday, Mandelblit also rejected Netanyahu's request for his pre-indictment hearing to be broadcast live, in a ploy meant to validate his claims that he has "nothing to hide."
"It would have been better if instead of making such an idle request such as this in connection with the hearing -- which you well know would not be accepted -- you would have worked to comply with the mandatory guidelines under this procedure," Mandelblit stated, slamming Netanyahu's defense for submitting just a single page rather a comprehensive brief detailing its planned arguments.
The attorney general said he intends to charge the premier with bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
Yedioth Ahronoth owner Arnon Mozes is set to be charged with bribery following his pre-indictment hearing last month.