Judges Reject Request to Delay Netanyahu Trial Until Sept.

YERUSHALAYIM -
Former CEO of Walla news website Ilan Yeshua arrives for his testimony at in the case against former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, at the District Court in Yerushalayim on Wednesday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s attorneys on Wednesday asked the court to postpone his trial until after the chagim in September.

The lawyers claim the postponement would allow them enough time to study the trial material in Case 4000 that will likely be passed on to them in about two weeks, which details correspondence of former Walla CEO Ilan Yeshua with other politicians.

The judges rejected the request by his attorneys to postpone the proceedings.

The trial will continue as scheduled and even extended the deadline for prosecutors to hand over the material to the defense lawyers until July 20.

The material is believed to be key in Case 4000, in which Netanyahu is accused of conspiring with Shaul Elovitch, who at the time owned both the Bezeq telecom giant and the Walla! news website, to allegedly provide the former prime minister with positive news coverage in return for favorable legislation that would have been very profitable for Elovitch.

Elovitch’s lawyers slammed the decision, calling it a “fatal blow” to their defense.

Netanyahu and Elovitch’s legal teams had argued their request was not an attempt to delay proceedings, but rather was a “direct result of information being concealed by the prosecution.”

The defendants’ lawyers said that the materials they were set to receive from the prosecution would most likely have an impact on any future testimonies in the trial – both from Walla! employees and from Avi Berger, who was the director general of the Communications Ministry before being laid off by Netanyahu himself in 2015.