Israel attorneys insist on charging Netanyahu with bribery

Middle East Monitor  /  June 24, 2023

Following remarks by judges that it had been difficult to prove bribe charges against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, state attorneys insisted they will push ahead with attempting to convict him, Israeli media reported on Friday.

The most serious allegation facing Netanyahu, who has been charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust, is bribery for positive media coverage.

On Thursday, Hebrew media reported judges presiding over Netanyahu’s criminal trial informing prosecutors that the bribery charge against him would be difficult to prove however.

Walla and Channel 13 disclosed that the judges convened with state prosecutors and Netanyahu’s defence team to discuss the complexities of substantiating the bribery charge against Netanyahu in Case 4000.

The Times of Israel reported that, according to Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara, who is pursuing the case, the prosecutors still believe they have a strong case for the accusation that Netanyahu took bribes in the form of positive press coverage from a Bezeq telecoms mogul seeking regulatory benefits.

Channel 12 news reported that prosecutors believe future testimonies from witnesses called by the defence, including Netanyahu and the telecoms shareholder Shaul Elovitch, will strengthen the evidence of the bribery charge.

Former Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar, now part of the opposition, urged the two sides to come to a plea deal, citing that it was in the public’s interest to end the trial with a deal.