Netanyahu asks for whole year deferral of hearing

Avichai Mandelblit, Benjamin Netanyahu photos: Alex Kolomoisky, Yediot Ahronot; Eyal Izhar

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's lawyers claim they need the time to study the materials in the cases against him. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is expected to refuse the request.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his lawyers have requested a whole year's postponement of the hearing in the cases against the prime minister, because of their scope. They argue that they need this amount of time to prepare properly for the procedure in which they will attempt to persuade Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to change his mind about indicting Netanyahu in cases 1000, 2000 and 4000. News of the request was reported by Aviad Glikman on Channel 13.

Mandelblit and Netanyahu's legal counsel Adv. Amit Hadad are in negotiations over a date for the prime minister's hearing. It is believed that Mandelblit will refuse the postponement request, or accept it only partially and agree to a postponement until the fall. In any event, the hearing will not take place on the date originally set, July 10, 2019.

Netanyahu's lawyers will argue that it is not reasonable that the amount of time given to them to study the materials in the cases is the same as the amount of time given to the lawyers of two other main suspects in these cases, Shaul Elovitch and Arnon Mozes, who are suspected of bribing Netanyahu, when each of them only has to deal with the accusations in one case, whereas Netanyahu has to cope with three thick files.

Elovitch has also asked for a postponement of his hearing, which will play in Netanyahu's favor.

In complicated white-collar crime cases, the suspect's lawyers are generally allowed at least six months to prepare for a pre-indictment hearing.

At the same time, Netanyahu's case for a postponement is harmed by the fact that it was he who sought to defer the transfer of the investigation materials to his lawyers until after the general election (which took place on April 9). In addition, for several weeks his lawyers refused to accept the materials, and thus harmed their own ability to prepare for the hearing.

On another front - the State Comptroller's permissions committee - it is becoming increasingly clear that Netanyahu is about to fail. It will be recalled that Netanyahu applied to the committee several months ago for permission to receive funding for his legal expenses from two foreign businessmen: his cousin Nathan Milikowsky, and Spencer Partridge. The application not only led to the revelation of Netanyahu's seemingly problematic dealings with Milikowsky, but is also liable to be rejected altogether.

The committee has given Netanyahu an ultimatum that unless he submits the required information about his business dealings and his wealth by the end of next week, his application will be finally dismissed.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 21, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

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Avichai Mandelblit, Benjamin Netanyahu photos: Alex Kolomoisky, Yediot Ahronot; Eyal Izhar
Avichai Mandelblit, Benjamin Netanyahu photos: Alex Kolomoisky, Yediot Ahronot; Eyal Izhar
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