Netanyahu’s graft trial to pause for 2 weeks as first witness wraps up testimony


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Netanyahu’s graft trial to pause for 2 weeks as first witness wraps up testimony
Judges cancel several hearings to allow defense to prepare for cross-examination of ex-Walla CEO Ilan Yeshua
By TOI staff
20 April 2021

The first witness in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial wrapped up his testimony Tuesday, with the court halting proceedings for two weeks to let the defense prepare to cross-examine him. Ilan Yeshua, the former CEO of Walla news, has been testifying three days a week since the evidentiary stage of the trial began on April 5. Following the Jerusalem District Court’s decision, Wednesday’s scheduled hearing will be canceled, as will the three days of hearings next week. The next hearing will be held on May 3 to discuss several requests by Netanyahu’s attorneys to release pieces of evidence. The cross-examination of Yeshua will begin May 4.

Yeshua is a key witness in Case 4000, in which Netanyahu is alleged to have abused his powers when he served as both premier and communications minister from 2014 to 2017 to illicitly and lucratively affect the business interests of Bezeq’s controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch. In exchange, Elovitch allegedly provided Netanyahu with positive coverage of the prime minister and his family by the Elovitch-owned Walla news site. Netanyahu faces charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in the case, while Elovitch and his wife Iris were also charged with bribery. All three defendants deny wrongdoing.