Attorney General Gali Baharav Miyara and the state prosecution have stood fast against three judges’ advice for a plea deal in the 4000 file bribery charges against prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu. After the prosecution wound up its case, the district judges on the bench called defense and prosecuting council to tell them: “The good of the country calls for a plea accord.”
he AG has reluctantly summoned the prosecutors to a conference next month to reconsider the case for a plea bargain in view of the judges’ opinion. But they remain convinced that evidence for a conviction awaits when the defense witnesses take the stand.
The most damning charge of taking bribes is represented in the 4000 File. The judges are not satisfied with the prosecution case brought against the prime minister for allegedly granting regulatory benefits to Shaul Elovitch, of Bezeq telecommunications, in return for favorable coverage in one of his publications.
In another of the charges against him, the prime minister freely admits receiving lavish gifts from well-heeled friends, while the prosecutors have yet to prove an illicit quid pro quo.
In 2019, Netanyahu was indicted in several charges of bribery, breach of trust and fraud. The case has dragged on since then. Those charges sparked three destabilizing national elections and mass demonstrations for the purpose of proving Netanyahu criminally corrupt and unfit to hold office. He was finally returned to power by election six months ago. Opposition leader Yair Lapid continues to declare him corrupt, unfit for office and heading for jail.
Netanyahu consistently denies he is guilty of any wrongdoing and accuses the prosecution and his enemies of a conducting a witch hunt to bar him from holding office. If the prosecution persists in its objection to a plea or mediation deal, the Netanyahu trial could drag on for many more years. But if it is cut short by a deal, Netanyahu’s backers will certainly claim compensation for the financial, political and personal damage he has sustained..