Netanyahu negotiates deal to escape prison

JERUSALEM – Former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is negotiating a plea deal to escape prison and end his corruption trial. According to a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice of Israel and two sources involved in the talks, court terms could be announced before the end of the month.

The bargain includes an admission of guilt, in some cases, in exchange for a reduction in the severity of the charges, which would likely mean a sentence of community service.

Netanyahu is accused of fraud, breach of trust and bribery in three separate cases. He denies all charges. What would be holding up the deal is the inclusion of a charge of “moral turpitude”, which under Israeli law would prevent the former prime minister from holding political office for seven years.

An eventual deal would spare Netanyahu a long and embarrassing trial that would focus the country’s attention and could tarnish his legacy. A spokesman for Netanyahu declined to comment.

Including the charge of “moral turpitude” would run counter to Netanyahu’s pledge to return to government after his 12-year term ended last year against a coalition of disparate parties that have little more in common than their opposition to the former prime minister. minister.

But Netanyahu, who has managed to resist several attempts to remove him from power, could return when the veto expires. He would be almost 80 years old./Reuters and AP

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