Netanyahu Seeks Plea Bargain Agreement Without Bribery Charges Or Moral Turpitude, Prosecution Demurs

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a political statement at the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, in Jerusalem, on May 30, 2021. - Nationalist hardliner Naftali Bennett said today he would join a governing coalition that could end the rule of the country's longest-serving leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo by YONATAN SINDEL / POOL / AFP) (Photo by YONATAN SINDEL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Various media outlets in Israel including Maariv have reported that former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is negotiating a plea bargain agreement with the prosecution over his current indictments. Netanyahu’s lawyers have allegedly been talking with State Attorney Avichai Mandelblit as well as with senior members of the prosecution in an attempt to end Netanyahu’s legal predicament with a plea bargain agreement. Netanyahu hopes to complete the agreement before Mandelblit’s tenure ends on February 1st.

Netanyahu seeks to avoid a long drawn out trial and reach an agreement which will not end his political career. During strictly secret discussions which took place between Netanyahu’s lawyers and the attorney general and his close aides, Netanyahu’s lawyer agreed that his client would admit to breach of trust if the prosecution removed the bribery charges. However the two sides have not reached an agreement regarding the matter of moral turpitude, which would disqualify Netanyahu from public office for seven years.

The former prime minister has refused to budge in his demand that the agreement include neither an admission of moral turpitude nor, by implication, a prison sentence. Thus he could leave politics for a while but return to lead the Likud in the next elections.

The prosecution however is demanding a suspended sentence that would be converted into at least three months of community service, and the deal would include moral turpitude and thus keep the 72-year-old Netanyahu away from public life for seven years, likely ending his long political career. A legal source told channel 12 that “Netanyahu is looking for a deal which will leave him with preferred status.”

 


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