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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Indicted in Corruption Trial for Pushing Bill to Support Hollywood Friends

Jerusalem — Israeli opposition leaders testified on Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu twice tried to persuade Hollywood moguls to back a bill that would give them millions of dollars in tax cuts. But Yair Lapid, himself a former prime minister and Netanyahu’s main rival, said he was not convinced.

Mr. Lapid made the remarks while testifying in Jerusalem in one of three corruption cases against Prime Minister Netanyahu. The indictment alleges that Prime Minister Netanyahu used his position of power to further the interests of Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan in exchange for his gifts, which is a violation of the prime minister’s official and personal duties. Represents a contradiction between friendship.

Israeli government
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) presides over a Cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on June 11, 2023.

Menahem Kahana/Pool/AFP/Getty

According to the indictment, Prime Minister Netanyahu has made personal demands on Mr. It is said that it was for convenience.

Mr Rapid testified on Monday that Mr Milchan and his lawyers tried without success to persuade Mr Milchan that extending the tax cuts for 10 years would be good for Israel, according to Israeli media reports. Netanyahu has since raised the issue twice with Mr. Rapid, according to reports, once at the prime minister’s office and once outside the cabinet.

Lapid said he had told Netanyahu that it would not happen, to which the prime minister responded, “It’s a good law.”

Former Israeli Prime Minister and opposition leader Yair Lapid arrives to testify in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial at the Jerusalem District Court on June 12, 2023.

Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, has denied allegations of wrongdoing, saying he did not act in Mr. Milchan’s personal interests and sometimes even acted against them. He said the gift exchange was just a friendly gesture.

Milchan is scheduled to testify later this month via video call from his home in London.

Haaretz reported in 2013 that then-Finance Minister Rapid sought legal advice on the possibility of pushing forward a bill that would benefit Milchan. Earlier, Mr. Lapid was reported to have told Mr. Netanyahu and Mirchan “no way” about the prospect of the bill.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has been charged with fraud, breach of trust and bribery in three separate scandals involving influential media moguls and wealthy officials. he denies any wrongdoing.

Corruption allegations have been at the center of a long-running political crisis that has led Israelis to visit the polls five times in less than four years — each vote essentially testing Netanyahu’s suitability to rule. It is a referendum to ask. After losing power to the opposition coalition in 2021, Netanyahu returned to power late last year despite legal problems. form a coalition with some of Israel’s most controversial far-right parties and politicians.

Full Interview: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on “Margaret Brennan and Standing Against the State”


Under Israeli law, the prime minister is not obliged to leave during the trial.

The trial, which began in May 2020, was attended by more than 40 prosecution witnesses, including some of Netanyahu’s former confidants. Eyewitness testimony has not only shed light on the three cases, but has also been sensational about Prime Minister Netanyahu’s personality and his family’s reputation for living on huge sums of money from taxpayers and wealthy supporters. details have also been revealed.

Critics have accused Netanyahu of seeking to undermine the country’s courts and change the judicial system as a means of escaping lawsuits, but Netanyahu has also been dismissed as lying. claim.

In an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” in April, he said: Prime Minister Netanyahu told Margaret Brennan that is public outcry The issue, caused by the administration’s proposed controversial judicial reforms, which has sparked regular and large-scale public protests, was an “internal issue that we must resolve.”

“I think there is a broad consensus that we have to fix our judicial system,” Netanyahu said. “There is clearly a big difference between views on how and to what extent.”

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets as protests against the reform bill, which critics have criticized as undemocratic, have been held regularly on Saturdays since January 7. The proposed reform bill includes a “nullification clause” that removes the only check on the powers of Israeli lawmakers, allowing a legislative majority to pass any law and nullify any decision. to

US President Biden said in March that he was “concerned” about Netanyahu’s actions. called him to leave from overhaul.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/israel-netanyahu-accused-corruption-trial-legislation-hollywood-mogul-arnon-milchan/ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Indicted in Corruption Trial for Pushing Bill to Support Hollywood Friends

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