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Lapid says Netanyahu plea talks proof that state needs ‘moral turpitude law’

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tells Channel 13 that the recent developments in the plea negotiations between opposition chairman Benjamin Netanyahu and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit represent further proof of the necessity for a “moral turpitude law.”

The remarks come shortly after reports that the plea talks have fallen apart. Netanyahu earlier issued a statement saying he would continue leading the Likud party and that he never agreed to a moral turpitude clause in the negotiations, which would have forced him to quit politics for seven years.

“I initiated it as head of the opposition. It states that anyone convicted of moral turpitude can’t be prime minister, minister, MK, or a mayor — precisely to prevent these kinds of phenomena. We must let the judicial process take its course,” Lapid says.

Asked if he opposes a plea bargain for Netanyahu, Lapid says, “I can’t take a position on a judicial process that is currently under way.”

Asked if he is he pleased that Netanyahu is staying in politics: “Netanyahu is damaging the political system and the State of Israel. He causes more rifts and divides than anybody else. The most important thing for us [in the coalition] is to enable some kind of unity among the people of Israel. You can’t do that when someone keeps adding fuel to the fire. He causes damage.”

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