ANL 36.55 Increased By ▲ 0.90 (2.52%)
ASC 14.80 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
ASL 26.10 Increased By ▲ 1.25 (5.03%)
AVN 90.90 Decreased By ▼ -0.35 (-0.38%)
BOP 7.80 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.13%)
BYCO 10.21 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (0.59%)
DGKC 125.20 Increased By ▲ 0.95 (0.76%)
EPCL 57.50 Increased By ▲ 1.00 (1.77%)
FCCL 24.35 Increased By ▲ 0.19 (0.79%)
FFBL 28.80 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
FFL 16.05 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.31%)
HASCOL 9.79 Increased By ▲ 0.07 (0.72%)
HUBC 79.00 Decreased By ▼ -0.25 (-0.32%)
HUMNL 6.77 Increased By ▲ 0.14 (2.11%)
JSCL 21.81 Increased By ▲ 1.11 (5.36%)
KAPCO 40.10 Decreased By ▼ -0.15 (-0.37%)
KEL 3.83 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.52%)
LOTCHEM 16.61 Increased By ▲ 0.41 (2.53%)
MLCF 47.15 Increased By ▲ 0.66 (1.42%)
PAEL 35.23 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.03%)
PIBTL 10.35 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
POWER 9.25 Increased By ▲ 0.08 (0.87%)
PPL 86.02 Increased By ▲ 0.67 (0.79%)
PRL 25.32 Increased By ▲ 0.32 (1.28%)
PTC 10.01 Increased By ▲ 0.29 (2.98%)
SILK 1.24 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
SNGP 42.05 Increased By ▲ 1.55 (3.83%)
TRG 164.75 Increased By ▲ 1.85 (1.14%)
UNITY 30.76 Decreased By ▼ -0.29 (-0.93%)
WTL 1.48 Increased By ▲ 0.06 (4.23%)
BR100 4,873 Increased By ▲ 37.38 (0.77%)
BR30 25,848 Increased By ▲ 213 (0.83%)
KSE100 45,311 Increased By ▲ 262.65 (0.58%)
KSE30 18,544 Increased By ▲ 107.94 (0.59%)

Coronavirus
VERY HIGH
Pakistan Deaths
15,754
13524hr
Pakistan Cases
734,423
468124hr
Sindh
269,840
Punjab
255,571
Balochistan
20,499
Islamabad
67,491
KPK
101,045
World

Netanyahu's favours were 'currency', prosecutor says as corruption trial starts

  • "The relationship between Netanyahu and the (co-) defendants became currency, something that could be traded," prosecutor Liat Ben-Ari said in presenting so-called Case 4000. "This currency could distort a public servant's judgment."
  • Netanyahu spent an hour in court, departing - with its consent - before Ilan Yeshua, former CEO of the Walla news-site, testified on behalf of the prosecution.
05 Apr 2021

JERUSALEM: Israeli prosecutors accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday of trading favours like "currency" at the opening of a corruption trial which, along with an inconclusive election, has clouded his prospects of remaining in office.

Netanyahu, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of bribery, breach of trust and fraud, came to Jerusalem District Court in a dark suit and black protective mask. He huddled with lawyers as protesters for and against him could be heard yelling outside.

The state said Netanyahu was responsible for regulations that allowed a telecom power-couple to clinch deals worth "many hundreds of millions of shekels", in exchange for them sweetening coverage of the premier on a popular news-site then under their control.

"The relationship between Netanyahu and the (co-) defendants became currency, something that could be traded," prosecutor Liat Ben-Ari said in presenting so-called Case 4000. "This currency could distort a public servant's judgment."

Netanyahu faces two additional cases in what is the first criminal trial of a sitting Israeli prime minister. He describes himself as the victim of a politically motivated witch-hunt.

Meanwhile, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin began consulting with party heads on who might form the next coalition government - a toss-up after the March 23 election, the fourth in two years, gave neither Netanyahu nor his rivals a clear mandate.

Rivlin said ethical considerations could factor into his decision, apparently alluding to Netanyahu's trial.

"I do not see a way in which a government can be established," Rivlin told representatives of centrist Yesh Atid, the largest opposition party, which hopes to unseat Netanyahu's conservative Likud. "The people of Israel should be very concerned that we may be dragged into a fifth election."

Netanyahu spent an hour in court, departing - with its consent - before Ilan Yeshua, former CEO of the Walla news-site, testified on behalf of the prosecution.

Yeshua said that while employed at Walla he had been "barraged" by demands from its owners, Shaul and Iris Elovitch, and by Netanyahu confidants to promote the prime minister and play down or attack his political rivals.

"The Elovitches asked me not to let the editors know that the reason for the requests had to do with imminent regulatory moves," Yeshua told the court, adding that the coverage demands prompted "daily arguments" with staff who "put up a fight".

Iris Elovitch, who like her husband denies wrongdoing, interrupted Yeshua, shouting: "How much can you lie?"