Netanyahu on hook for own legal fees

Netanyahu’s final request to seek help from wealthy friends and family to pay his legal fees was rejected.

By World Israel News Staff

The State Comptroller’s Permits Committee rejected for the final time on Monday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request that he be allowed to seek financial help from friends and associates to fund legal expenses related to his corruption cases, Israel’s public broadcaster reports.

The committee made its decision after Netanyahu failed to supply his financial data as it had requested.

Netanyahu issued a statement saying: “The permits committee prevents the prime minister from receiving assistance in financing his legal defense. Without this assistance, the prime minister has no ability to defend himself against the vast resources of hundreds of millions of shekels that the state invests in submitting an unprecedented indictment against him.”

The comptroller replied, “The committee was not given any information … The rules must include a detailed factual discussion and rely on appropriate information, data and references.”

“We have no choice but to repeat the principle set forth in the committee’s previous decisions that “before a minister turns to the generosity of the rich, he must exhaust his resources and shareholders’ equity,” it said.

On Sunday night, Netanyahu reportedly sought a 30-day delay of the committee’s decision, but the committee denied the request.

This brings to a close Netanyahu’s ability to request funding from friends and family to help pay his legal fees in the corruption cases he is facing.

The committee had already rejected the prime minister’s request twice, the last time in February, saying that according to Netanyahu’s declaration of capital, he is “affluent,” and therefore he must prove that he has exhausted all his options to self-fund his legal defense before accepting donations.