Former PM Netanyahu may choose to testify at his own trial - report

Despite the defendant not having the obligation to take to the witness stand during his own trial, Netanyahu has decided he may do so, hoping it will have a positive effect on his legal situation.

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jerusalem District Court on November 22, 2021 (photo credit: YONAH JEREMY BOB)
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jerusalem District Court on November 22, 2021
(photo credit: YONAH JEREMY BOB)

Opposition leader and former primer minister MK Benjamin Netanyahu may testify at his own trial, N12 reported on Friday night during their "Ulpan Shishi" program.

Despite the defendant not having the obligation to take to the witness stand during his own trial, Netanyahu has decided he may do so, hoping it will have a positive effect on his legal situation.

However, N12 reported, this dramatic step could be avoided, should a plea deal be reached between Netanyahu and Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit within the next month or so.

This is due to the fact that Mandelblit's term comes to an end in five and a half weeks, so if a plea deal is to be reached at all, it will be before his term ends. It is unlikely that a new attorney general will take such a dramatic step right at the start of their term.

By the time the new attorney general would be in a position to make such a dramatic decision, the trial will be too far along with all the key witnesses already having testified, thereby significantly reducing the chance of such a deal happening, N12 estimated.

Nir Hefetz seen as he arrives for a court hearing at the District Court in Jerusalem on November 24, 2021, Former PM Netanyahu is on trial on criminal allegations of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)Nir Hefetz seen as he arrives for a court hearing at the District Court in Jerusalem on November 24, 2021, Former PM Netanyahu is on trial on criminal allegations of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

The likelihood of such a deal being achieved, however, is uncertain, N12 said, due to the controversy generated by the plea deal reached with MK Aryeh Deri earlier this week.

Deri, who had previously served a 22-month sentence after being convicted of bribery in 2000, signed a plea deal over mild tax offenses earlier this week. The agreed-upon deal will allow him to avoid a second prison sentence, and in return, he will pay a NIS 180K fine and resign from the Knesset.