Sunday, March 26, 2023

Israeli Prosecutors Detail Corruption Charges Against Netanyahu | Benjamin Netanyahu News

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The case concerns the Israeli prime minister promoting telecommunications company Bezeq in exchange for positive coverage on his popular news site Walla.

Israeli prosecutors have issued an amended indictment setting out detailed charges against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a corruption case in which he is accused of exchanging favors with a powerful media mogul.

Netanyahu has been charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three corruption cases.

One alleges that Netanyahu promoted regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the owner of telecommunications company Bezeq in return for positive coverage on his popular news site Walla.

Responding to a request from Netanyahu’s lawyers for more details, Israeli prosecutors on Sunday released a letter alleging that there had been 315 incidents where Walla was asked to make his coverage more favorable for Netanyahu and his family.

They said there were indications that Netanyahu was personally involved in 150 of these incidents.

He said the requests included giving more time or priority to positive stories about Netanyahu and his family, changing headlines and reducing or even removing disadvantageous stories.

It also included alleged requests for negative coverage from Netanyahu’s rivals.

The document listed the 315 suspicious incidents, which allegedly included numerous requests for the publication of flattering articles and photos of Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, to cover up reports of embarrassing expenses and personal family information. Netanyahu and attempts to embarrass his rivals.

He was quoting Bezeq majority shareholder at the time, Shaul Elovitch, expressing concerns that Netanyahu would not approve lucrative trade deals for the company if negative articles were published.

Between January 17 and 19, 2013, for example, a Netanyahu associate persuaded Elovich to publish articles saying that the wife of Naftali Bennett, leader of a rival religious party, worked at a non-kosher restaurant.

Several weeks later, Netanyahu, through the same associate, reportedly urged Walla to remove critical articles on a lace dress his wife had worn when the new parliament was sworn in and replace it with more favorable reviews. .

The site agreed to both requests, he said.

On another occasion, Elovich, at Netanyahu’s request, reportedly ordered Walla to stop the live broadcast of a rally of Netanyahu’s opponents during the country’s election campaign in 2015.

Netanyahu’s trial began last year and is expected to resume next month.

He denies all charges, claiming he is the victim of a witch hunt orchestrated by hostile media, police and prosecutors.


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