Netanyahu’s attorneys file motion to dismiss indictment

December 28, 2020 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s defence attorneys on Sunday filed a motion to dismiss one of his three indictments, known as Case 4000, after it became clear that the Attorney General’s approval to open investigations against him had not been obtained and that the investigation began with no proper legal approval.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on Dec. 29, 2019. Photo by Marc Israel Sellem/POOL

Section 17 of the Basic Law of the Government provides that a criminal investigation concerning an incumbent Prime Minister may not be opened until after obtaining the approval of the Attorney General.

“This is a constitutional requirement and its violation means that the Prime Minister’s investigation was opened illegally,” the attorneys said.

For months, Netanyahu’s defence attorneys have been demanding that the prosecutor’s office present them with the approvals given to them by the Attorney General to open an investigation against the prime minister, but the prosecutor’s office been evading them, they claimed.

The investigation against Netanyahu was in violation of the law and therefore must be dismissed, they demanded.

Netanyahu’s defence attorneys’ request for the dismissal of the indictment reveals that more than 250 pieces of evidence concerning the core of the indictment in Case 4000 were collected prior to the Attorney General’s approval to open a criminal investigation against the prime minister. This could mean that the evidence should be dismissed and that the case is collapsing.

The prosecution stated in response that “the investigations were lawfully approved” and his attorneys’ request “is unfounded.”

Case 4000 alleges that Shaul Elovitch, former owner of Israeli telecommunications giant Bezeq and of the Walla! news portal, pressured his CEO, Ilan Yeshua, to arrange positive coverage of Netanyahu on Walla! in exchange for the prime minister advancing regulations that would benefit Elovitch. The regulatory benefits were worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Bezeq, of which Elovitch was a major shareholder at the time.

Netanyahu is facing charges in three corruption-related cases.

The court will start hearing witnesses in January 2021 with three sessions per week.

The trial is expected to last for years.

Netanyahu, the first sitting prime minister in Israel’s history to be tried, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and his supporters have called the allegations a witch hunt by a “hostile media” against him and his family and have accused the judicial system of attempting to unseat a prime minister in an undemocratic process.

Comments

One Response to “Netanyahu’s attorneys file motion to dismiss indictment”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Everyone is or should be subject to the law of the land.

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