On the 15th of May this year, an Israeli television network, Channel 12, reported a leak related to the corruption case of the country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The leaked material contains a copy of an alleged conversation between Netanyahu and Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth’s publisher, Arnon Mozes. The conversation contains information about the controversial Case 2000, in which Netanyahu was said to pass a law that would hinder the production of Yedioth Ahronoth’s rival, the Israel Hayom. To return the favor, Mozes is to publish news coverage that is more favorable for the public image of the Prime Minister. Moreover, according to the Israeli Police, it is also possible that Mozes offered positions to journalists recommended by the Prime Minister to subvert his rival officials.
In the leaked conversation in Channel 12’s live broadcast, a voice alleged to be Mozes can be heard confirming to distort information for the coverage of Netanyahu’s rivals in the upcoming election and to conceal negative reports about Sara, Netanhayu’s wife. He is also encouraging the Prime Minister to file a libel case and figuratively terminate an aggressive Netanhayu critic who is actually a writer at Yedioth.
The television network claimed that included in the leak is a conversation possibly recorded in December 2014, just months before the 2015 Israeli election. In this recording, a voice, possibly belonging to the Netanhayu, is telling “Mozes” that Lapid and Bennett, his election rivals, were given kids’ gloves in Yedioth and its sister company, Ynet. The Prime Minister sounds unhappy about it.
The leaked materials are likely to create resentment from Netanhayu’s camp and this issue will certainly be handled by his legal team, who have done so much to keep all information from the media’s reach. Last March, Netanhayu’s lawyers requested the Avichai Mandelblit, Israel’s Attorney General, to keep materials from the public until the general election on the 9th of April is finished. This is out of Netanhayu’s fear that information as such could keep voters away from his Likud party. Mandelblit gave in to the Netanhayu’s request but only withheld the evidence until the 10th of April. Afterwards, the information was made available for claiming. But, to stall the arraignment, Netanhayu’s legal team failed to claim the evidence from Mandelblit. The Attorney General gave a warning to the Prime Minister’s camp that they must get in touch with him prior to the scheduled litigation on the 10th of May. In response, Netanhayu’s lawyers filed a request to delay the scheduled proceedings. Moreover, when the evidence was sent to Netanhayu’s office via courier, his staff did not accept the documents. However, on the last 14th of May, Netanhayu finally said that he will accept the documents, attend his hearing appointments, and will provide payment to his legal fees.
On July, the Israeli court will tackle all the cases in which the Prime Minister is involved because most cases almost have the same witnesses and accused. If Netanhayu will be deemed as guilty in these cases, he will be charged with bribery, breach of trust, and fraud and could possibly be locked up in prison for an average of 10 years.