Report: Netanyahu, AG may agree to leave ‘moral turpitude’ to judges in plea deal


Staff member
Report: Netanyahu, AG may agree to leave ‘moral turpitude’ to judges in plea deal
Sides weighing compromise on key sticking point, Channel 13 reports, as the former Israeli leader is said to move toward backing proposed agreement
By TOI staff
15 January 2022

Talks on a possible plea deal for former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his criminal trial are progressing, with a potential solution found to the major sticking point left between Netanyahu’s team and state prosecutors, according to a television report Saturday. According to multiple reports in recent days, Netanyahu has been resisting a deal primarily due to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s demand that he agree to the accord designating his actions as carrying “moral turpitude” — legally barring him from public service for seven years.

According to Channel 13, a compromise may have been found, whereby the sides would agree that the trial judges at the Jerusalem District Court will rule on whether the former Israeli leader’s actions deserve such a designation. Mandelblit, the report said, reasons that it is virtually certain that the judges would impose the “moral turpitude” designation if Netanyahu, as agreed in the reported framework for a plea deal, admits to offenses of fraud and breach of trust.

Channel 12 reported Saturday that sources close to Netanyahu are signaling he backs the deal, as do all his attorneys. It also said that some of Netanyahu’s family members are not yet on board, though it did not provide further details. The network noted that the deal now on offer had been discussed on several occasions over the past two years, but that Netanyahu had previously refused to consider proposals that included “moral turpitude.”