Netanyahu attorney says prosecution ‘listening closely,’ believes ‘cases will be closed’

Attorney Yossi Ashkenazi said that the defense team had “presented documents that had not been part of the materials in the investigation.”

By World Israel News Staff 

Going into the second day of a pre-trial hearing for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, facing criminal allegations in three cases of alleged fraud, a member of the prime minister’s defense team expressed optimism on Thursday that he and his colleagues were getting a sympathetic ear from Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and the State Attorney’s Office.

“The attorney general’s people are listening to us closely,” said Netanyahu attorney Yossi Ashkenazi, speaking to the media on his way into the session at the Justice Ministry compound in Jerusalem.

The prime minister has not been attending.

The proceedings on Wednesday were said to have lasted more than 11 hours.

“We argued for 11 hours in the hearing yesterday. I think we’ll need a similar amount of time today,” Ashkenazi told the waiting reporters on Thursday morning.

He said that the defense team had “presented documents that had not been part of the materials in the investigation.”

Despite his expression of initial pleasure with the attention that the defense team was receiving from the state prosecution, Ashkenazi acknowledged that there was a long way to go toward having the charges dropped.

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A statement released by the defense on Wednesday night stated that the team had “laid out very detailed materials that are supported by considerable evidence that contradicts what the list of possible indictment counts claims. The attorney general listened to us. We hope and believe that nothing will remain of those counts and the cases will be closed.”

Thursday’s session, like Wednesday’s, was expected to be devoted to what is known as Case 4000, the one that is considered by the prosecution as the most serious, as it includes the charge of bribery, as well as fraud and breach of trust.

On Sunday and Monday, the defense lawyers are to address Cases 1000 and 2000, in which Netanyahu is facing charges of fraud and breach of trust.