After the broadcast of an extensive interview with him, attorney Yaakov Weinroth said in a statement that he was “concerned and upset that dozens of hours of conversation with him over the stretch of several days was edited in a manner that fits an agenda designed to harm Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.”
In a letter to Keshet, which broadcast the hourlong interview hosted by Ilana Dayan on Channel 12, Weinroth’s office said that the attorney “has a great deal of respect for the Prime Minister and his wife, and protests the agenda-driven editing of the interview. Obviously, many of the things I said in the interview were never broadcast. Attorney Weinroth rejects any attempt to portray the comments he made in the interview about the Prime Minister or his wife in a negative light.”
The wide-ranging interview reviewed Weinroth’s long career defending politicians and public officials accused of wrongdoing. Among the people Weinroth has represented are Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, former minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, former President Ezer Weizmann, and Netanyahu himself, in a relationship going back to the late 1990s.
In the interview, Weinroth commented on the cases Netanyahu is currently being questioned about. Regarding Case 1000, in which the Prime Minister is accused of accepting gifts of, among other things, cigars, Weinroth said that the Prime Minister liked fancy cigars, but was not the type to plot illicit ways to acquire them. “He is of the type of people who don’t think about prices,” said Weinroth. “If you ask him how much bread or gum costs, he will miss the price by a wide margin. He spent a lot of money on cigars over the years, and members of his household were always complaining – both over the cost, and the secondhand smoke.”
Weinroth added that there was nothing to the theft of food allegedly engineered by Sarah Netanyahu. According to sources in the Prosecutor’s Office, she is likely to be charged with embezzling hundreds of thousands of shekels from the state. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and wife Sarah have denied the charges, and have hinted that members of the staff – specifically former Chief of Staff of the household Meni Naftali – is responsible for the embezzlement. Naftali has been a leader of the ongoing protests outside the home of State Attorney Avichai Mandelblit demanding more aggressive action in prosecuting the Netanyahus on the various scandals they have been implicated in, including the household budget scandal.
At the end of the interview, Weinroth was asked if there was any information about Netanyahu that he could not reveal, lest it incriminate the Prime Minister. Weinroth said that due to the relationship between the two, there were, but he did not say that they were criminal in nature.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Netanyahus said that they regretted that “Dayan has used the material in the interview in a cynical manner, taking advantage of Attorney Weinroth, who is very ill. She led him astray by promising an objective discussion, but edited the material in a very specific manner in order to harm the Prime Minister and his wife. This is something that should not be done to honest people, and violates the ethics of not only journalists, but of human beings.”