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Prosecution questioning former Walla editor about efforts to skew coverage

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Court sketch of Ilan Yeshua giving testimony in the Jerusalem District Court, April 5, 2021. (Biana Zakutnik)
Court sketch of Ilan Yeshua giving testimony in the Jerusalem District Court, April 5, 2021. (Biana Zakutnik)

Prosecutor Yehudit Tirosh is questioning state’s witness Ilan Yeshua, the former CEO of the Walla news site, whose testimony is considered a key element in Case 4000, one of three sets of charges against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Tirosh, who led the prosecution’s investigation of Case 4000, typically tries fraud cases for the state prosecutor.

Yeshua is the first witness to appear in Netanyahu’s trial as the evidentiary stage opens today.

His testimony so far has focused on basic details about the Walla news site, principally its size and the identities of its top editors during the years in question.

He is expected to eventually provide testimony implicating the premier in trading regulatory favors for the owners of the Walla news site, Shaul and Iris Elovitch, who are also on trial, in exchange for favorable coverage of him and his family.

In Case 4000, Netanyahu is accused of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

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