After delays due to financial issues, attorneys for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday picked up dozens of boxes of data relating to the four investigations he is involved in. The attorneys said that they planned to contact prosecutors to set a date for a hearing Netanyahu is entitled to before State Attorney Avichai Mandelblit makes his final recommendations on whether or not to indict Netanyahu in any of the cases.
The current date for the hearing, July 10, is likely to be delayed in order to give Netanyahu’s attorneys time to go over the information, which they have not been able to do until now. The hearing is likely to be postponed until after the Yamim Nora’im. A previous date, set for May, had already been postponed, with the the Prime Minister requesting that submission be delayed until after the elections, out of concern that material could be leaked, damaging his election chances. Mandelblit acceded to that request.
The reason for the second likely postponement is that the large amount of material collected by police and prosecutors has not yet been submitted to, let alone inspected, by Netanyahu’s attorneys.
The material – including files, recordings, testimonies, transcripts of police interrogations, and more – has been ready for submission to Netanyahu’s attorneys for about two months, but the material had not been picked up by the attorneys – the reason being, Ha’aretz reported, because Netanyahu is behind on paying his attorney, and they are not willing to do more work until they are paid. Yisrael Hayom said that Netanyahu has given his attorneys an advance, and they had gone back to work on the case.
The payment issue is tied up with a ruling by courts earlier this year that Netanyahu could not raise money privately for his defense, a ruling the Prime Minister vehemently disputes. In a statement, the Netanyahu’s office said he “stands on his rights to receive financial assistance for his defense, like all public servants, especially given the huge amounts of money the state has spent on the cases.”