Netanyahu speaks out against son's call to try prosecutors for treason

Yair Netanyahu called to try prosecutors who charged his father for treason, and if found guilty, sentenced to death.

Yair Netanyahu makes a stormy appearance at Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court, December 2018.  (photo credit: AVSHALOM SHOSHANI)
Yair Netanyahu makes a stormy appearance at Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court, December 2018.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SHOSHANI)

Incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu distanced himself on Monday from comments made by his son Yair, who on a radio show over the weekend hinted that prosecutors who were involved in the decision to charge his father with bribery, fraud and breach of trust need to be tried for treason, and if found guilty, sentenced to death.

In a Monday morning tweet, the Likud leader wrote: "I love my son Yair who is an independent person with his own opinion. While everyone has the right to voice their opinion, I disagreed with [Yair's] comments published yesterday."

Elovitch couple condemns Yair's calls as Case 4000 trial resumes

As Netanyahu senior's criminal trials were set to resume on Monday morning, Shaul and Iris Elovitch, who are defendants in Case 4000 along with Netanyahu, also condemned Yair's comments that "have crossed the line in their involvement of prosecutors and investigators," the couple said in a statement released through attorney Jacques Chen.

"Criticism, even bold criticism over what transpires in court is legitimate," the attorney said in his opening statement on Monday morning. "However, on behalf of the Elovitch couple and myself, we completely and resolutely disavow" Yair's comments.

"No 'buts' and without any reservation," the attorney added.

 Opposition head Benjamin Netanyahu seen during a discussion and a vote on a bill to dissolve the Knesset (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) Opposition head Benjamin Netanyahu seen during a discussion and a vote on a bill to dissolve the Knesset (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Yair, who is known to be extremely influential in Netanyahu's policies and political decisions, drew a hard line against the legal establishment which has been increasingly adopted by his father in recent years.

Netanyahu has also found himself in legal trouble in the past. He recently lost a libel suit brought against him by a former journalist whom the younger Netanyahu had called a mole working with the state prosecution against his father.