Netanyahu Trial: Prosecution Asks to Amend Charges Regarding Date of Key Meeting

The request pertains to when a crucial meeting took place between Netanyahu and a key witness during which, Netanyahu allegedly instructed Shlomo Filber to advance Bezeq’s interests

Netael Bandel
Netael Bandel
Shlomo Filber at court last week.
Shlomo Filber at court last week.Credit: Emil Salman
Netael Bandel
Netael Bandel

Prosecutors in the corruption trial against Benjamin Netanyahu asked the Jerusalem District Court Sunday to amend the indictment in the case involving alleged regulatory favors granted to the Bezeq company during the former prime minister’s tenure as communications minister.

The request pertains to when a crucial meeting took place between Netanyahu and Shlomo Filber, a former Communications Ministry director general who turned state’s evidence in what has come to be known as Case 4000. During the meeting, Netanyahu allegedly instructed Filber to advance Bezeq’s interests.

According to the indictment, the meeting was held very soon after Filber’s appointment was approved. But during his cross-examination of Filber, Netanyahu lawyer Boaz Ben Zur proved, using cellphone locations and correspondence from that time, that Filber and Netanyahu did not met during the week cited in the indictment – the week between the approval of Filber’s appointment by the cabinet and his meetings with Bezeq majority shareholder Shaul Elovitch and advisor Eli Kamir, where he allegedly promised to favor their company.

Prosecutors had already admitted during Filber’s main testimony that it is uncertain whether the meeting took place in the week cited in the indictment. In light of the facts, the prosecution seeks to amend the indictment to read “at an unknown date, after defendant Netanyahu had decided on Filber’s appointment.”

Ben Zur claimed during Filber’s testimony that the meeting took place later than the indictment claims, thus seeking to undermine the prosecution’s thesis regarding Netanyahu’s instructions. The prosecution’s amendment has the meeting taking place earlier, before Filber took office.

Should the court grant the prosecution’s request, it will be the third amendment to the indictments. In the first amendment, the court ordered the prosecution to strike general inclusion terms from the indictment, such as “and such,” and also to list each of the 315 requests for coverage from the Walla website, and to note the identity of the requester, rather than use “Netanyahu and family.”

The other was when the prosecution asked to add witnesses regarding jewelry allegedly bought by Arnon Milchan for Sara Netanyahu, the wife of the former prime minister and current opposition leader.

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