Netanyahu Adds Former Judge, Criminal Attorney to Legal Defense Team

Navot Tel-Zur, who represented former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, will head PM's new defense team

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem November 25, 2018.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem November 25, 2018.Credit: Ronen Zvulun/POOL/AFP
Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced changes in his legal team on Thursday, after his former lawyer Jacob Weinroth passed away last month.

Criminal defense attorney Navot Tel-Zur will now head Netanyahu’s legal defense team, replacing Weinroth. Joining him will be former district court judge Oded Mudrick, and they will work alongside Amit Hadad, who left Weinroth’s law firm shortly after his death.

The new legal team will represent Netanyahu in the multiple corruption cases against him.

Last year, Tel-Zur was suspended from practicing law after reaching a plea bargain arrangement concerning his actions relating to a corruption case surrounding the Holyland residential project.

>> AG's expansion of legal team in Netanyahu case could indicate leniency to come | Analysis 

Tel-Zur represented former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the case, as well in Olmert’s three other corruption trials. Tel-Zur now counts Interior Minister Arye Dery – also implicated in a corruption affair – among his clients, and in the past he represented former Bank Hapoalim Chairman Dan Dankner, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak and businessman Ofer Nimrodi.

Mudrick retired from the Tel Aviv District Court three years ago. In 1997, Mudrick acquitted Olmert in a case involving fictitious invoices issued by the Likud party when Olmert was party treasurer.

Today, he is the head of a police disciplinary court. Mudrick’s daughter works in the Tel Aviv District of the State Prosecutor’s office, and his son-in-law, Maor Even Chen, is a senior attorney in the office's financial department.

Two lawyers from that department were recently named to the team appointed by Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit to examine the corruption cases against Netanyahu, in an apparent attempt to receive an alternative look at the evidence.

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