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Report: Netanyahu judges also urging mediation in billionaire benefactors case

Report: Netanyahu judges also urging mediation in billionaire benefactors case

The judges presiding over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial are pressuring the prosecution and the premier’s representatives to begin mediation on Case 1000, Channel 12 news reported Saturday.

The report follows others earlier this week according to which the judges informed prosecutors they believed there would be difficulty in proving a bribery charge in another case in the trial, Case 4000.

Case 1000 involves allegations that Netanyahu unlawfully received gifts such as cigars and champagne from two billionaires — Arnon Milchan, an Israeli Hollywood film producer, and James Packer, an Australian business magnate.

The prosecution claims that between 2011 and 2016, Milchan gave Netanyahu luxury goods — including an estimated NIS 700,000 ($193,000) worth of cigars, champagne, and jewelry — in exchange for the alleged services.

It is also alleged that Netanyahu received from Milchan and Packer three bracelets for his wife Sara at her request, one of them worth $45,000, as well as luxury bags and clothing items for her. The Prime Minister’s defense has said that he was unaware his wife was receiving gifts from neither Milchan nor Packer.

Any mediation would occur behind closed doors and be presided over by an external judge in hopes of streamlining the legal process. The ultimate objective would be to reach a plea bargain agreement.

Beginning Sunday, Milchan is set to testify in the trial via video link from Brighton, England for two weeks. A day or two will be dedicated to the prosecution’s examination, while the rest of the time will be granted for cross-examination by Netanyahu’s defense attorney Amit Hadad.

Read the complete Article here.

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