Netanyahu negotiates plea deal in corruption trial

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is negotiating a plea deal in his corruption case

TEL AVIV, Israel – Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is negotiating a plea deal in his corruption case, a participant in the negotiations said Sunday.

Reports of a deal have angered critics, who say the deal would undermine the rule of law.

“The man who worked to destroy public trust in the foundations of democracy for personal reasons was not eligible for the deals,” Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz tweeted. He is referring to Netanyahu’s efforts after he was accused of casting doubt on Israel’s justice system, saying it was biased and pursuing a witch hunt against him.

Protesters gathered against the burgeoning deal outside the attorney general’s home on Saturday night. Any agreement can be challenged in court.

A spokesman for Netanyahu declined to comment.

Netanyahu is being tried on charges of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three separate cases. The former prime minister, now leader of the opposition, denies wrongdoing.

The person involved in the negotiations said the plea agreement would reduce allegations of bribery and fraud and eliminate a case altogether.

The person asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to discuss the details of the negotiations. He said a plea agreement is likely to be announced in the coming days.

The person said a number of factors remained unresolved, including the alleged “lack of ethics”, under Israeli law that would ban Netanyahu from politics for seven years. They are also weighing whether Netanyahu will be forced to serve the community under the agreement.

Including the “lack of morality” that would challenge Netanyahu’s vow to return to lead the country after his 12-year reign was ended last year by a coalition of ideologically divided parties, no little in common other than opposition to his leadership. But Netanyahu, dubbed a political wizard for his ability to survive repeated attempts to end his rule, could return once the ban lapses. He will be almost 80 years old.

His departure from politics will set off a leadership race within the Likud party, with several lawmakers already promising to run. Likud is not expected to remain dominant without Netanyahu, but will still be a major force under a new leader.

With Netanyahu’s departure, the more nationalist elements of the coalition may decide to break away from the fragile alliance and choose to join forces with their like-minded brethren.

Netanyahu was charged in three separate cases. The first allegations allege that Netanyahu received gifts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from wealthy associates.

In the second case, Netanyahu is accused of orchestrating the positive coverage of a major Israeli newspaper in exchange for promoting legislation that could harm the news outlet’s main rival, a liberal daily. support Netanyahu.

The third case, nicknamed Case 4000, alleges that Netanyahu pushed for hundreds of millions of dollars in legislation for the owners of Israeli telecommunications giant Bezeq in exchange for positive news coverage. Their Walla.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/netanyahu-negotiating-plea-deal-corruption-trial-82293466 Netanyahu negotiates plea deal in corruption trial

Emma Bowman

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