Ex-state attorney: Netanyahu aims to defang courts due to his ‘very bad’ legal state

Former state attorney Moshe Lador on Saturday said presumed incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is aware he’s in serious legal jeopardy from his ongoing trial on corruption charges and is working to defang the judiciary in order to save himself from prison.

Lador, who oversaw the prosecution of ex-premier Ehud Olmert, said plans to overhaul the judiciary are being advanced “in a heavy-handed and forceful manner that I believe will change the face of the nation.”

He lambasted Netanyahu for “agreeing to form a coalition together with those who are pushing these initiatives forward.”

Noting that the prime minister-designate had resisted such efforts in the past, Lador said there was only one reason for his turnaround.

“This is not being forced upon him. He’s the one who wants it and why? For one unequivocal reason which is that contrary to the spins, he understands and his lawyers tell him that his legal situation is very bad in this case,” Lador told Channel 12 news.

“If he’s convicted in the case, he knows it’s a short distance to prison.”

Netanyahu faces charges of fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases, as well as bribery in one of them. He has repeatedly denied wrongdoing while attack police and prosecutors and claiming without evidence that there is a far-reaching conspiracy to remove him from power.

Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich has proposed legal reforms which would drastically curb judicial authority and potentially terminate Netanyahu’s criminal trial.

Then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, surrounded by Likud lawmakers, gives a televised statement before the start of his corruption trial at the Jerusalem District Court on May 24, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Smotrich’s program includes completely eliminating the charge of fraud and breach of trust — which Netanyahu was indicted for in a trio of graft cases — from the Israeli criminal code.

Netanyahu has said his trial would not be cut short and insisted he had no intention of changing Israeli laws or “canceling anything retroactively,” referring to the charges against him.

Israeli politics told straight

I joined The Times of Israel after many years covering US and Israeli politics for Hebrew news outlets.

I believe responsible coverage of Israeli politicians means presenting a 360 degree view of their words and deeds – not only conveying what occurs, but also what that means in the broader context of Israeli society and the region.

That’s hard to do because you can rarely take politicians at face value – you must go the extra mile to present full context and try to overcome your own biases.

I’m proud of our work that tells the story of Israeli politics straight and comprehensively. I believe Israel is stronger and more democratic when professional journalists do that tough job well.

Your support for our work by joining The Times of Israel Community helps ensure we can continue to do so.

Thank you,
Tal Schneider, Political Correspondent

Join Our Community

Join Our Community

Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this

You’re a dedicated reader

That’s why we started the Times of Israel ten years ago – to provide discerning readers like you with must-read coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.

So now we have a request. Unlike other news outlets, we haven’t put up a paywall. But as the journalism we do is costly, we invite readers for whom The Times of Israel has become important to help support our work by joining The Times of Israel Community.

For as little as $6 a month you can help support our quality journalism while enjoying The Times of Israel AD-FREE, as well as accessing exclusive content available only to Times of Israel Community members.

Thank you,
David Horovitz, Founding Editor of The Times of Israel

Join Our Community

Join Our Community

Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this

Leave a Reply