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Editor ‘told to drop negative stories about Israel Prime Minister’

Netanyahu trial: Editor 'told to drop negative stories about Israel Prime Minister'

Editor ‘told to drop negative stories about Israel Prime Minister’

The first witness in Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial has said he

was told to make negative stories about the Israeli PM “disappear”.

Former Walla CEO Ilan Yeshua alleged he was also ordered by the news website’s

owner, Shaul Elovitch, to post content that attacked Mr. Netanyahu’s rivals.

Prosecutors said Mr. Netanyahu made regulatory decisions worth hundreds

of millions of dollars to Mr. Elovitch in return for favorable coverage.

Both men have denied any wrongdoing.

Editor 'told to drop negative stories about Israel Prime Minister'
Editor ‘told to drop negative stories about Israel Prime Minister’

The prime minister, who is being tried on charges of bribery, fraud and breach

of trust in connection with three separate cases, dismissed the hearing as a

“charade” and accused the prosecution of a “coup attempt”.

It comes as Israel’s president meets parliamentarians to ask whom they

support to form the next government following last month’s election.

The vote failed to end the long period of political stalemate that has

led to four elections in two years, leaving both Mr. Netanyahu‘s right-wing

bloc and the parties opposed to him short of a majority.

President Reuven Rivlin will consult party leaders this week, then nominate

who he thinks has the best chance of forming a new coalition government.

What is Benjamin Netanyahu accused of? – Editor ‘told to drop negative stories about Israel Prime Minister’

He has been indicted in three cases, known as 1,000, 2,000 and 4,000:

  • Case 1,000 – Fraud and breach of trust: he is accused of receiving gifts – mainly cigars and bottles of                                                                                                                                                                                              champagne – from powerful businessmen in exchange for favors
  • Case 2,000 – Fraud and breach of trust: Mr. Netanyahu is accused of offering to help improve the circulation                                                                                                                                                                                    of Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot in exchange for positive coverage
  • Case 4,000 – Bribery, fraud and breach of trust: As PM and minister of communications at the time of the                                                                                                                                                                                 alleged offense, Mr. Netanyahu is accused of promoting regulatory decisions favorable to Shaul Elovitch, the                                                                                                                                                                   controlling shareholder in Israeli telecom giant Bezeq, in exchange for positive coverage by Mr. Elovitch’s   Walla news site

Mr. Netanyahu has denied all the charges against him, branding them a

“witch-hunt” by his political opponents, and has vowed to clear his name.

 

 

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