Netanyahu succeeds in pushing off corruption hearings until October

Hearings in the criminal cases against Netanyahu will be postponed until October.

By World Israel News Staff

The hearings in the cases against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be pushed off until October, Israel’s Channel 20 reports.

The postponement was granted by the State Attorney’s Office following a request from Netanyahu’s legal team.

The prime minister’s lawyers had requested a year-long postponement. Their request was only partially granted, resulting in a 3-month delay.

Attorney General sent a letter to Netanyahu’s attorneys granting the delay on Wednesday.

Netanyahu faces hearings related to Cases 1000, 2000 and 3000.

Case 4000 is reportedly the strongest case against Netanyahu in the opinion of the State Attorney’s Office. Netanyahu is accused of driving through a merger for businessman Shaul Elovitch in return for favorable coverage on the Walla! web portal.

Netanyahu maintains that the merger involving Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecommunications firm and Yes, a satellite TV provider, both owned by Elovitch, was carried out by the book. Netanyahu also argues that coverage at Walla! was not positive toward him, undermining the case.

Israel’s Channel 20, in a series examining the cases, appears to confirm Netanyahu’s claim about the nature of Walla’s news coverage, finding that during the 2015 campaign period, 75 percent of the columns in Walla! were hostile to the prime minister.

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Cases 1000 & 2000

In Case 1000, Netanyahu is accused of accepting expensive gifts in the form of fancy cigars and champagne from tycoons James Packer from Australia and Israeli Arnon Milchan in exchange for political favors. Netanyahu doesn’t deny receiving the gifts but does deny giving anything in return.

In Case 2000, the prime minister is charged with conspiring with Arnon Mozes, the publisher of Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, to punish the rival paper Israel Hayom in return for better news coverage from Mozes. The deal would have involved legislation that would have drastically curtailed the circulation of Israel Hayom, a free daily.

Netanyahu denies wrongdoing in Case 2000 as well, arguing that far from helping hurt Israel Hayom, he dissolved the Knesset to prevent a law that would have hurt the paper from passing.