According to a source familiar with the negotiations, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is contemplating a plea deal in his corruption case.
The agreement, which may be finalized as soon as this week, could force Netanyahu off the Israeli political community for a long time, clearing a path for a leadership contest in his Likud party and revolutionizing Israel’s political landscape.
Any compromise would also free Netanyahu of a humiliating and prolonged trial that has engulfed the country and threatened to ruin his reputation.
Netanyahu is alleged of receiving gifts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from rich and powerful associates in the first case, and of masterminding favorable coverage in Yedioth Ahronoth, a major Israeli newspaper, in exchange for supporting legislation that would have affected the news outlet’s chief rival, a free pro-Netanyahu daily, in the second trial.
The third case of his corruption, codenamed Case 4000, says that Netanyahu advocated for legislation worth hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for favorable treatment on Israel’s Walla news site.
Netanyahu’s spokesperson refused to respond.
In three distinct instances, Netanyahu is accused of corruption, violation of trust, and collecting bribes. The former premier, who has become the head of the opposition, disputes any misconduct.
According to a source familiar with the negotiations, the plea offer would end in the corruption and fraud charges being dismissed, as well as the cancellation of one case completely.
Because he wasn’t permitted to share the contents of the negotiations, the individual wished to remain anonymous. He indicated that a plea agreement will be revealed in the following days.
According to the source, a number of issues remain unresolved, including the addition of the allegation of moral turpitude, which would exclude Netanyahu from politics for seven years under Israeli law.
They were also contemplating whether Netanyahu would be compelled to serve in the community as part of the arrangement.
Added moral turpitude would bring into question Netanyahu’s pledge to return to the leadership of the nation after his 12-year rule was terminated last year by an alliance of politically diverse parties united only in their opposition to his leadership.
When the ban expires, however, Netanyahu, who has been branded a political magician for his ability to resist multiple efforts to unseat him, might make a return. He’d be close to 80 years old.