Court rejects Netanyahu's request for ex-Mossad chief's police testimony

Pardo came to testify to police about an unrelated case and happened to unexpectedly make some comments relevant to the Netanyahu case during that session.

YORAM COHEN (second from right) sits down with (from right) former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo, former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, current IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, former coordinator of government activities in the territories Yoav Mordechai,  (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
YORAM COHEN (second from right) sits down with (from right) former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo, former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, current IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, former coordinator of government activities in the territories Yoav Mordechai,
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
The Jerusalem District Court on Monday rejected the request of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s legal team to receive police evidence given to them by former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo as part of the public corruption trial.
Netanyahu’s defense team sought documents relating to evidence Pardo gave to the police on August 8, 2017, as well as police documents from July 16, 2019.
They argued that receiving Pardo’s prior testimony was relevant to prepare for confronting him as a witness in the trial.
However, the case is very complex.
It appears that even the prosecution do not have Pardo’s full testimony to police.
Rather, Pardo came to testify to police about an unrelated case and happened to unexpectedly make some comments relevant to the Netanyahu case during that session.
The police then prepared two summaries of the parts of Pardo’s testimony which were relevant for the Netanyahu trial and provided them to the prosecution.
In any case, the prosecution said that the defense had no need for the documents because they were not especially related to the Netanyahu case – and the court agreed with the prosecution on this.
Reportedly, Pardo will testify that as part of Case 1000, the “Illegal Gifts Affair,” Netanyahu’s tycoon billionaire friend Arnon Milchin asked Pardo if he would allow current Mossad director and then senior official Yossi Cohen to be present for a key business meeting.
Pardo allegedly refused, saying that the Mossad could not be drawn into personal endeavors.
Netanyahu ultimately ordered the IDF to grant usage of a helicopter to Milchin for holding the meeting.
The court on Monday also denied a motion by the defense to acquire additional material relating to a state-witness deal struck with Netanyahu’s former top aide Ari Harow.
Meanwhile, the trial crosses into a new phase on Tuesday with the cross-examination of former Walla CEO Ilan Yeshua.
If the first seven hearings of the trial in April were the prosecution’s chance to shine in showing off its claims that Netanyahu and Bezeq and Walla owner Shaul Elovitch engaged in a media bribery scheme, the next 10-20 hearings will be the defense team’s chance to strike back.
Elovitch lawyer Jacques Chen will cross-examine Yeshua on Tuesday, Wednesday and next week.
After that, Netanyahu’s lawyer Boaz Ben Tzur will go after Yeshua, with lawyer Michal Rozin, representing Iris Elovitch, Shaul’s wife, going after the former Walla CEO last.
Cross-examination could potentially take the trial into the summer recess – which might mean that the next prosecution witness would not testify until September.