The lead lawyer for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quit the team on Wednesday over concerns of his fees getting paid only 11 days before the bribery trial is due to restart.
Micha Fettman represented Netanyahu at the first hearing on May 24, but had only joined the legal team in recent months after several rounds of former Netanyahu lawyers had resigned for similar concerns over payment.
Netanyahu's remaining lawyer, Amit Hadad, has been part of the legal team since the start of the case.
The crisis hits as Netanyahu has insisted that he should not have to pay much of his own legal fees to defend himself in his bribery trial, but the State Comptroller committee denied his request to have NIS 10 million in legal fees paid by tycoon ally Spencer Partrich.
The committee, based on a legal opinion by Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit, found that it would be a conflict of interest for Netanyahu to receive such large funds from Partrich, while he was still prime minister.
An additional reason for denying Netanyahu's request to receive donations for his legal defense was that Partrich is due to be fact witness in the upcoming trial.
Netanyahu has claimed he has a right for his funds to be paid through donations from tycoons like former prime minister Ehud Olmert did.
However, Mandelblit has responded that it was only legal for Olmert because he had resigned as prime minister and no longer had a conflict of interest through possessing public powers.
Mandelblit has also said that Netanyahu could receive a loan from Partrich and even previously approved an NIS 2 million loan.
Netanyahu has had a wide array of lawyers in and out of his defense team in recent years.
Lawyer Jacob Weinroth, a titan of the legal profession, was his top general until 2018, when Weinroth died.
At early stages, Jacques Chen was part of the legal team, but he had to resign when he started to represent Shaul Elovitch, another major defendant in Netanyahu’s cases.
Other senior lawyers who were on the team for a period of several months or more at various times were: Navot Tel Tzur, Yossi Ashkenazi and Ram Caspi.