On the first day of the resumed trial of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Prosecutor Liat ben Ari revealed that he had obtained improper services from media owners in various ways to promote his personal interests.
This is one of the most specific accusations made against Netanyahu. Earlier, the prosecution used more general terms, such as abuse of power and corruption.
According to Ben Ari, in Netanyahu's circle, the most important currency is the provision of mutual services. The Prime Minister denies all the accusations against him.
The trial of Binyamin Netanyahu began a year ago, the first hearing was held on May 24, 2020. He is the first leader in the country's history to be both in power and on trial.
The trial was interrupted due to the election, as well as due to the active participation of Netanyahu in the development of the Middle East agenda together with the previous US President Donald Trump.
What happened in court on Monday
Netanyahu calls his trial a "witch hunt" designed to remove him from power at all costs.
Dozens of his supporters and opponents gathered outside the Jerusalem courthouse on Monday, where he had arrived to testify.
In the courtroom, he sat with his lawyers as the prosecutor outlined the charges. Netanyahu is not the only defendant in this trial, and a number of public figures are involved with him, whom the prosecutor's office considers involved in corruption schemes.
"The relationship between Netanyahu and the defendants has become a currency, an object of trade," Prosecutor Liat ben Ari said in court, calling what is happening the most egregious case of corruption of the regime.
After the prosecutor's speech, the prime minister left the meeting, and several Israeli media leaders involved in the bribery and bribery cases were invited to testify.
Netanyahu himself calls these cases not just fabricated, but also hastily, and has repeatedly said skeptically that the prosecutor's office could have tried better.
How can a defendant be Prime Minister?
The proof of Benjamin Netanyahu's guilt lies with the prosecutor's office, until then he is considered innocent, and at this stage, there are no obstacles to his duties as head of government.
Even if the court finds him guilty, the resignation will not happen until all the appeals provided are considered, and this can take years.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who came under investigation for corruption in 2008, left the post of head of his party but remained in the post of prime minister until the next general election, in which Netanyahu was elected.
Olmert was later found guilty of bribery, fraud, obstruction of justice, and breach of trust, and served 16 months of his sentence of 2 years and 3 months.