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Report: Netanyahu to sign plea deal, retire from politics for 7 years

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu is ready to sign a plea bargain, including an admission of moral turpitude, Channel 12 News reported Monday evening.

Netanyahu’s decision follows pressure exerted on him by his attorneys, Boaz Ben Tzur and Amit Hadad, who represent him in his trial, as well as his personal lawyer, Dr. Yossi Cohen. An admission of moral turpitude would force Netanyahu to retire from politics for seven years.

Netanyahu’s family members still oppose the move, to varying degrees. At the conclusion of a meeting on the issue Sunday, it was decided to speed up the contacts with the Attorney General in order to make a decision in the coming days.

In his first public statement on the issue in recent days, Netanyahu thanked the Israelis who supported him and contributed to a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for his legal fees.

“Thank you, the masses of Israel’s citizens, for your tremendous support and wonderful love in recent days,” Netanyahu wrote.

“Your warmth moved me and my family with an unparalleled excitement.”

Left-wing lawyer Avigdor Feldman said Monday morning that the court may decide to acquit former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and therefore it may not be wise for him to accept a plea bargain.

“This case should not publicly end in a plea deal, Netanyahu is showing a side of weakness for him here. Stand up for yours,” said Adv. Feldman in an interview with Reno Tzurur on Galai Tzahal (IDF Radio).

If Mandelblit succeeds in approving the deal before the end of his term at the end of the month, Netanyahu will probably go for the deal, which his lawyers have described as “excellent”.

A senior official in the State Attorney’s Office told Israel National News on Sunday that the chances of Netanyahu reaching a plea bargain with Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit are “slim” at best.

Source: Arutz Sheva