Court Nixes Netanyahu Bid to Have Charges Dropped

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP)

A demand to throw out corruption charges against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ due to alleged illegalities on the part of state investigators was rejected by the Yerushalayim District Court on Monday.

However, the court did acknowledge that “quite a few details are missing” from the indictment in Case 4000, which they said are “material and relevant to the defendants’ defense.” The prosecutors were instructed to amend the indictment to address the omissions.

The case, one of three in the Netanyahu trial, involves suspicions that he granted regulatory favors benefitting Shaul Elovitch, the controlling shareholder of Bezeq telecom, in exchange for positive coverage of the prime minister and his family from the Bezeq-owned Walla news site.

The corrections ordered by the court on Monday will have the indictment distinguish more clearly Netanyahu from his family members, as well as Elovitch from his wife, Iris.

The court said prosecutors must make clear who made the demands in every case and whether the prime minister was allegedly aware of the requests or involved in them.

It also told prosecutors to provide detailed information about the alleged contacts between Netanyahu and the Elovitches and the benefits they gave him.

“There is no place for generalizations or lack of details,” the judges wrote.

All told, 21 clauses in the indictment will be amended due to insufficient detail.

Netanyahu hailed the ruling as confirmation of his repeated accusations that the cases against him are the product of a political witch hunt.

“A tough blow for the prosecutors,” he said in a statement. “It’s again been proved that they didn’t search for a crime but rather invented a crime.”

However, the main demand for vacating the indictment was rebuffed by the court. The judges said there were no grounds for such an action.