Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may accept a plea deal in his corruption trial, according to an Israeli media report.
Netanyahu is on trial for fraud, breach of trust and bribery in three different cases. He is accused of demanding high-priced gifts from businessmen and offering favorable government policies to media representatives in exchange for positive news coverage.
According to CBN News, Netanyahu has denied the claims.
The trial began in May 2020 at the Jerusalem District Court and is currently hearing from witnesses for the prosecution, CNN reports.
According to The Associated Press, a plea agreement would drop the bribery and fraud charges and throw out one of the separate cases.
There is a chance that the “moral turpitude” clause will be included in the plea agreement, which would ban Netanyahu from politics for up to seven years. Negotiations could also include community service work.
If Netanyahu is banned from politics, Israel could head for new elections or a new government under Likud’s leadership.
Israel’s Channel 12 News reported that Netanyahu and his family met with his lawyers Sunday to discuss whether to take the deal. His wife, Sarah, and their two sons reportedly opposed the deal.
His wife is quoted as saying, “the prosecution is toying with us. They’ll show everyone that Bibi is prepared to admit to crimes, and then they’ll thwart the deal.”
Netanyahu’s supporters have said he should reject the deal, but critics also say he doesn’t deserve to take a plea agreement.
“The man who worked to destroy the public’s trust in the foundations of democracy for personal reasons is not eligible for deals,” Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz tweeted.
Netanyahu previously was the longest-serving prime minister in Israel. He served from 1996 to 1999 and then again from 2009 to 2021.
He came under investigation for corruption in December 2016, and then, in November 2019, he was indicted on charges.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Amir Levy/Stringer
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.