Lawyer for Netanyahu tried to ambush judges in his trial - report

Roth explained that the goal of the operation would be either to cause a mistrial or at least to draw a cloud down over the credibility of the trial.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Lawyers Boaz Ben Zur and Amit Hadad arrive to the District Court in Jerusalem for a court hearing as part of the trial of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on December 1, 2020. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Lawyers Boaz Ben Zur and Amit Hadad arrive to the District Court in Jerusalem for a court hearing as part of the trial of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on December 1, 2020.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
A member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s legal team was recorded allegedly trying to set up a political ambush for the judges handling the prime minister’s corruption trial, Channel 12’s Uvda program broadcast on Thursday night.
Ariel Roth, an associate of the law firm of Amit Hadad (one of Netanyahu’s two primary lawyers with Boaz Ben Tzur), reportedly tried to hire someone to record the judges making damaging comments about Netanyahu in order to portray them as biased.
Roth explained that the goal of the operation was to effect a mistrial, or at least, to raise questions over its impartiality.
According to Uvda, they and those with whom Roth was meeting were actually setting up Roth to prove that Netanyahu’s aides and lawyers show a pattern of employing illegal or questionable methods to interfere with legal and political rivals.
Roth emphasized during the recording that they would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars if the ambushed information on the judges was truly damaging.
At one point, Roth asked the person he was pitching to move outdoors to the porch, supposedly worried that someone could be eavesdropping – but those recording him had also set up a bugging device to pick up the porch conversation.
It was unclear what implications the recording would have for Roth and, more broadly, for Hadad’s firm.
The Prime Minister's Office later released a statement criticizing Uvda for trying to tilt the elections against Netanyahu and to disrupt legal proceedings.  
"Uvda has been caught red handed in an attempted sting against the prime minister!," the statement noted. 
"We all saw how Uvda was the one to set up the meeting with attorney Roth, whom Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn't even know, who doesn't represent him and who has nothing to do with his legal cases.
After initiating the meeting with attorney Roth, Uvda what the one to set up hidden cameras, bring up the 'initiative' to question the reliability of the judges, and tried, after an hour of idle talk to manipulate Roth as if he was the one to bring up this inappropriate idea," the statement read. 

Tobias Siegal contributed to this report.