Prosecutors in the trial of former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu have requested that the trial be postponed so attorneys can investigate police spyware issues related to the case.
The Jerusalem District Court has ordered the prosecution to provide an update on the police cell phone hacking allegations no later than today.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the decision comes after new revelations about how the police may have hacked cellphones belonging to witnesses and suspects in the case. The spyware may have been secretly installed on the phones of politicians, businessmen, protest leaders and others.
The spyware, called Pegasus, can remotely extract information from cell phones, such as text messages, browser history, call history and other information.
Previously, the court halted the testimony of Cable Authority legal adviser and witness Dana Neufeld. Prosecutors had begun to question her about text messages between her and Shlomo Filber, a former top Netanyahu aide turned state's witness.
The judge ruled that it was unfair to let Neufeld refer to the text messages since they may be related to the cell phone hacking investigation.
"An enormous plague has broken out," said lawyer Jacques Chen. "There cannot be a trial of justice like this. We cannot learn the truth."
Netanyahu had served for 12-years as prime minister of Israel. He was ousted last year after he was accused of promising preferential treatment to a major Israeli telecom company in exchange for positive articles about him. He is also accused of soliciting favorable coverage from other places in another charge. In a third charge, he faces an accusation that he received gifts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from friends.
Netanyahu has repeatedly denied the charges, and after his indictment in 2019, he refused to step down as prime minister. He said the media and courts were on a "witch hunt" against him.
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.