Netanyahu trial judges: We recommended dropping bribery charge

Benjamin Netanyahu  credit: Amit Shabi, Yedioth Ahronoth
Benjamin Netanyahu credit: Amit Shabi, Yedioth Ahronoth

The Jerusalem District Court has published a summary of its closed meeting with prosecution and defense counsel.

The Jerusalem District Court judges in the trial of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges, Rivka Friedman-Feldman, Moshe Bar-Am, and Oded Shaham, have published the main points of the closed conversation held on June 20 with the representatives of the prosecution and the defense concerning Case 4000. Netanyahu is accused in this case of obtaining favorable coverage on the Walla! News website, owned at the time by Shaul Elovitch, in return for favorable treatment by the Ministry of Communications for telecommunications company Bezeq, then controlled by Elovitch.

The judges’ announcement states: "The parties were at first informed of the view that there were difficulties in establishing the offense of bribery in the first charge in the indictment. Because of these difficulties, it was proposed that the state should consider withdrawing the offense of bribery from this indictment. This matter was the sole reason for summoning the parties to the meeting. At the meeting, it was stressed that these things were said with due caution. The fact that the meeting was held in the chambers of the head of the panel of judges was due to the sensitivity of the matter. None of those present expressed any reservation about the meeting being held in this way, and no-one requested the recording of a protocol."

The announcement states that Judith Tirosh, who is prosecution counsel in Case 4000, said that the state saw matters differently, that she would convey what had been said to her superiors, and that at this stage only a partial picture had been presented to the court.

The judges say that, following the prosecution counsel’s remarks, "a short discussion was held with the counsel for both sides, at the end of which the need to conclude the trial was mentioned (for the sake of the matter itself and for the sake of the country), without reference to the way the trial might be concluded, and without reference to its outcome."

It is made clear that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denies the actions attributed to him, has not been convicted of any crime, and is entitled to the presumption of innocence.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on June 29, 2023.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.

Benjamin Netanyahu  credit: Amit Shabi, Yedioth Ahronoth
Benjamin Netanyahu credit: Amit Shabi, Yedioth Ahronoth
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