Netanyahu Plea Deal Could Bar Him From Politics for 7 Years
Israeli prosecutors believe former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could sign a plea agreement on corruption-related charges, a move that would exclude him from public office for seven years, the Jerusalem Post reports.
Netanyahu, the Israeli opposition leader, has been secretly negotiating a deal for weeks with outgoing Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, according to media reports. A treaty, though, would bring about the collapse of the current government and ''will be seen as a great victory for the camp that has been trying for a decade to defeat its greatest political threat,'' writes Israel Hayom’s Mati Tuchfeld.
Many of Netanyahu's supporters in Likud, the major center-right to right-wing political party, are urging him to fight, including his wife and son, Axios reports.
Netanyahu was indicted in 2019 on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. One case involves his relationship with two businessmen: Arnon Milchan, an Israeli Hollywood film producer, and James Packer, an Australian billionaire.
The indictment states that Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, received various goods from the pair, ''mainly cigar boxes and cases of champagne,'' valued at approximately $198,000.
The second case concerns meetings Netanyahu had with Arnon Mozes, the controlling shareholder of the Yedioth Ahronoth media group.
''During each of these series of meetings, Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Mozes engaged in discussions regarding the promotion of their common interests: improving the coverage that Mr. Netanyahu received in the Yedioth Ahronoth media group; and the imposition of restrictions on the Israel Hayom newspaper, which was of significant economic importance for Mr. Mozes himself and the Yedioth Ahronoth group,'' the attorney general alleged.
The third case concerns what the attorney general called a ''reciprocal arrangement'' between Netanyahu and Shaul Elovitch, the controlling shareholder in Israel’s biggest telecommunications company.
Elovitch and his wife, Iris, allegedly ''exerted substantial and continuing pressure'' on the director-general of Walla, a news outlet, to change its coverage based on demands made by Netanyahu and his family members.