Netanyahu Says He Will 'Under No Circumstances' Take a Plea Bargain

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Haaretz
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Netanyahu attends a government meeting ahead of the first session of his corruption trial, May 24, 2020.
Netanyahu attends a government meeting ahead of the first session of his corruption trial, May 24, 2020.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
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Haaretz

In an interview with Israel's Channel 20 hours after the first court session in his corruption trial closed, Netanyahu said he would 'under no circumstances' agree to a plea bargain.

"We're not here to make deals, we're here to bring the truth to light," Netanyahu said.

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Regarding the first day of his trial, Netanyahu said, “I didn’t come with my head bowed, I came full of vigor to fight for justice for everyone.”

“It was an important day, because it was the first time the people of Israel heard the truth. The things I said outside the courthouse were the truth, and the time has come to speak truth,” Netanyahu added, referring to attacks he made on the judiciary prior to entering the courtroom.

During the interview, Netanyahu reiterated those claims: "An honorable gang of several prosecutors, police and journalists from the leftist media decided to stitch together delusional cases against me because they believe I'll surrender."

Asked if he made the mistake of promoting the appointment of current Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, Netanyahu addressed the counsel's part in the Harpaz affair, a decade-old legal battle concerning attempts to improperly sway the process for selecting the military chief of staff to succeed Gabi Ashkenazi in 2011.

In recent weeks, Netanyahu allies, including former Justice Minister Amir Ohana, have used Mendelblit's involvement in the affair as a way of delegitimizing the judiciary.

"Who knew about all these things? Even today we don't know," the premier said. "The question is what is there to hide."

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