Netanyahu's Lawyers Request to Amend Indictment Against Him

Hearing on 'serious flaws' claimed by prime minister's attorneys would delay the start of his trial, scheduled for early 2021

Netael Bandel
Netael Bandel
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PM Benjamin Netanyahu in the Israeli Knesset, Jerusalem, November 10, 2020.
PM Benjamin Netanyahu in the Israeli Knesset, Jerusalem, November 10, 2020.Credit: Shmulik Grossman / Knesset
Netael Bandel
Netael Bandel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attorneys filed a request Wednesday to amend the indictment against him due to "the presence of serious flaws."

Netanyahu is facing trial in three cases of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

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The trial is due to enter the evidentiary phase in early 2021, but as this phase relies upon the indictment, the hearing on the request by Netanyahu's lawyers is expected to delay the start of his trial.

According to the lawyers, Boaz Ben Zur and Amit Hadad, the indictment invented a legal subject by referring to "Netanyahu and his family members" or "Netanyahu and his wife" as a single entity.

"The indictment refers to the prime minister and his family members as if it were speaking of one person," the lawyers wrote.

Additionally, the attorneys said, the indictment includes evidence against Netanyahu, despite the fact that the law includes "sharp and clear prohibition against bringing forth evidence in the indictment."

The lawyers also claimed that the indictment does not "fully and exhaustively" detail the gifts, or benefits, that Netanyahu allegedly received.

Finally, the lawyers claimed that the manner in which the "flaws" were entered into the indictment shows that they were put there "in a non-accidental manner."

The State Prosecutor's office said they would address the claims when a date is set by the court for a response.

Netanyahu’s team of lawyers had requested an extension to file requests for amendments in October, after they said they could not make the October 18 deadline because of the "various flaws" contained in the indictement. 

The prime minister's legal team previously said the trial should be delayed because of coronavirus regulations, arguing that it would be difficult to see whether a masked witness was "telling the truth." 

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