‘Israel’ To Indict Netanyahu Co-conspirators for Bribery
By Staff, Agencies
In a worrying sign for Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of a hearing on the suspicions against him next week, the prosecution opted to charge two of his co-conspirators with bribery.
According to a Channel 12 news report Thursday, Liat Ben-Ari, the lead prosecutor in the corruption cases involving Netanyahu, and her department conveyed to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit a document refuting the accusations of the two — media moguls Shaul Elovitch and Arnon Mozes.
Both men had their own pretrial hearings recently with prosecutors, but could not convince them to drop the bribery charges against them, the report said.
Elovitch, the controlling shareholder in the Bezeq telecom giant, is involved in Case 4000, the most serious of the three investigations into the prime minister. Netanyahu, who also faces pending bribery charges in that case, is accused of advancing regulatory decisions that benefited Elovitch to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, in exchange for positive coverage from his Walla news site.
Elovitch’s attorney Jacques Chen dismissed the report, saying the leak to Channel 12 undermined the hearing process and alluding to Mandelblit’s own assertion separately on Thursday that the hearings should not be “public” events.
Mozes, the publisher of the widely read Yedioth Ahronoth daily newspaper, is a suspect in Case 2000, which revolves around an deal by which Netanyahu would strive to weaken a competing paper, ‘Israel’ Hayom, in exchange for favorable coverage from Yedioth. In that case, Mandelblit is seeking to charge the premier with breach of trust — an offense relating to an official violating the trust the public has placed in him — and Mozes with bribery.
A third case against Netanyahu, Case 1000, involves accusations he received gifts and benefits from billionaire benefactors. The attorney general said he intends to charge the prime minister with breach of trust in that case as well, along with fraud.
Netanyahu’s legal team is scheduled to meet with Mandelblit on October 2 for the long-awaited pre-indictment hearing, at which they will try to convince the attorney general not to go ahead with his plan to charge the prime minister.