Netanyahu: Case against me is absurd; AG admits prosecution fabricates cases

Netanyahu is now pressed on his ongoing trial, in three corruption cases. If re-elected, Levy asks him, “Will you advance a French law [under which you cannot be tried while still PM] or any other move to stop your trial?”

Netanyahu replies: “I won’t need to, because these surreal and fabricated cases are collapsing … This trial is going ahead as you can see. And the further it goes, the more surreal and fabricated it is seen to be.”

Citing claims he and his lawyers have made many times about the purported fabrication of the case against him, he lists: “Witness intimidation. Conflicts of interest from here to Cyprus. The invention of a crime that doesn’t exist on the books in any democratic country. Opening investigations against a prime minister without the attorney general’s approval….”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to Channel 12 News, February 15, 2021 (screenshot)

“You said [in the past that] you’d seek immunity,” Levy notes.

“My attorneys raised it as a possibility. I said I don’t need it… I didn’t ask for it,” he replies..

“So the trial will go on to its end?” she asks.

“It will collapse long before,” he says.

Will he seek a plea bargain? “I’m not seeking any plea bargain. Quite the opposite… I’m not begging for a plea bargain. I’m standing firm. Because I know that there is nothing there [to these cases].”

But these allegations could lead to a jail term, she says.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit speaks at the 17th annual Jerusalem Conference of the ‘Besheva’ group, on February 24, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/ Flash90)

The whole indictment is “absurd,” he replies. “The prosecution is now trying to get to the evidentiary stage before the elections — a crude intervention in the elections… I greatly hope the judges won’t surrender to that pressure… But I’ll win the elections in any case.”

Does he believe he’ll get a fair trial?

“I hope so. I can only hope so. But everyone knows the charges are fabricated.”

Some critics from your camp say you cannot run the country while on trial, Levy notes.

He answers: “I brought millions of vaccines… Four historic agreements… I stand firm against Iran; we’re hitting them on every front…. I’m leading the economy to new heights… What I can do in an hour, Yair Lapid is not capable of doing in a lifetime.”

So you’re saying the whole of Israeli law enforcement is rotten, Levy asks him.

“I’m talking about the state prosecution,” says Netanyahu, claiming that even Attorney General “Mandelblit said they fabricate cases.”

Will he run for the presidency, he is now asked: “No. I’m not interested in that. I want to finish the work I’m doing.”

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