Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday morning began a pre-trial hearing with Attorney General Dr. Avichai Mandelblit and other state prosecution officials in the case known as case 1000 and continued the hearing which began last week, pertaining to case 4000. Case 1000 deals with Netanyahu allegedly receiving illegal gifts from Arnon Milchan and case 4000 deals with Shaul Elovitch, a former controller of Bezeq in order for favorable news coverage by Walla News also controlled by Elovitch.
Attorney Amit Hadad, a member of the team defending the prime minister said on Sunday, “We will complete the hearing on the 4000 case today and move over to other cases. When we complete them, the only option that will remain is to close the cases. We believe this and expect this is what will occur”.
The cases pending against Mr. Netanyahu include:
The prime minister received gifts from Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan and provided political favors in return for those gifts. He may face charges of fraud and breach of trust.
While there appears to be sufficient evidence to prove the prime minister received gifts, and provided services in return, the prime minister insists the gifts he received were not illegal since one may receive gifts from friends. He adds that if one checks the events in detail, one will see some of his actions were not only not in favor of Milchan, but against his interests.
The prime minister entered into a deal with the publisher of Yediot Achronot, Arnon Mozes, in which the prime minister would receive favorable coverage and in return, he agreed to push ahead legislation against the newspaper Yisrael Hayom, owned by his major supporter, billionaire Sheldon Adelson. This came at a time when Yediot’s circulation was reduced significantly due to the free distribution of the newspaper Yisrael Hayom.
In his role as Minister of Communications, Mr. Netanyahu assisted Shaul Elovitch, who held control of Bezeq Communications. In return for this, as in the case with Mozes, Netanyahu was to receive favorable coverage by the Walla News site. In this case, charges against the prime minister include fraud, bribery and breach of trust.
The state has conclusive evidence that Netanyahu assisted Elovitch in his capacity as communication’s minister. The prime minister insists in this case too that receiving favorable coverage by a news site does not constitute bribery.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)