The state has reached a plea bargain with Eurocom Holdings Ltd., which is involved in the ongoing corruption trial of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the State Attorney’s Office notified the Tel Aviv District Court Tuesday.
According to the deal, the company, previously controlled by businessman Shaul Elovitch, will confess to charges brought against it in two ongoing cases and pay a NIS 400,000 ($124,000) fine.
According to one indictment, these charges include receiving a bribe under aggravated circumstances, multiple fraud counts, and breach of trust.
The company is also accused of giving bribes and of money laundering through the actions of Elovitch, as part of so-called Case 4000.
“The criminal responsibility of Eurocom stems from the criminal actions and mindset of Elovitch, who was a functionary in the company,” the indictment read.
It is the first plea bargain reached in the ongoing case against Netanyahu.
Netanyahu is on trial in three corruption cases. He faces charges of fraud and breach of trust in Case 1000 and in Case 2000, and charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in Case 4000. He denies wrongdoing and says the charges were fabricated in a political coup led by the police and state prosecution.
Following frequent absences from his own criminal trial, Netanyahu is expected to attend court on Wednesday when key state witness Shlomo Filber begins his testimony.
Filber, a former official who was once close to Netanyahu, is believed to be an essential part of the prosecution’s case against him in Case 4000.
The case is the most serious of the three cases against the former prime minister. Netanyahu is alleged to have advanced regulatory decisions as communications minister and prime minister that immensely benefited Elovitch, who was also the controlling shareholder in Bezeq, the country’s largest telecommunications firm, despite opposition from Communication Ministry officials. In exchange, he allegedly was given what amounted to editorial control over Elovitch’s Walla news site.
Filber managed Netanyahu’s successful election campaign in 2015 when his Likud party won the most seats in the Knesset and led a solidly right-wing coalition that held for four years. He was subsequently appointed Communications Ministry director-general and oversaw the merger of Bezeq with the YES satellite TV company.
In late October, former Communications Ministry director-general Avi Berger became the first witness in Case 4000 to allege in court that Netanyahu had abused his position as prime minister.
In the case, Netanyahu is accused of abusing his powers when he served as both prime minister and communications minister from 2014 to 2017.
Elovitch and his wife have been charged with bribery in the case.
In addition to pushing to approve the merger with Yes, prosecutors allege that Netanyahu gave Bezeq significant preferential treatment in other regulatory decisions.