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Judges reject Netanyahu trial witness’s request for closed-door cross-examination

Nir Hefetz seen as he arrives for a hearing at the Jerusalem District Court on November 30, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Nir Hefetz seen as he arrives for a hearing at the Jerusalem District Court on November 30, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Judges in the corruption trial against Benjamin Netanyahu reject the request of a key witness to give parts of his testimony behind closed doors.

Earlier today, attorneys for state witness Nir Hefetz, a former aide to the ex-prime minister, submitted a request for portions of the cross-examination — those linked to his interrogation by police following his arrest — to be held without media present. Hefetz has claimed that portions of the testimony could harm his privacy and the privacy of his family and violate a gag order on certain elements of the case that would embarrass him.

Hefetz says that police interrogators utilized “draconian” interrogation tactics against him during their questioning.

But judges reject the request, ruling that the cross-examination will be held publicly, although they will consider kicking out media for specific narrow instances. Judges say that the hearing should be public, “with an exception made if a public hearing will deter a witness.”

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