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Reports: Netanyahu agrees to ‘moral turpitude’ in potential plea deal

Meanwhile, Channel 12 and Channel 13 report that as discussions between Netanyahu’s team and the attorney general continue, the former premier has agreed to Avichai Mandelblit’s demand that he accept “moral turpitude” in the plea deal — a designation that would legally bar him from politics for seven years.

Netanyahu in response issues a statement saying he “has not announced he agrees to moral turpitude,” though pundits note the use of the word “announced,” rather than a full denial.

Channel 13 says top prosecution officials are currently meeting on the matter. It says Liat Ben-Ari, the top prosecutor in the Netanyahu case, has cooled in her attitude toward a potential deal.

It also says prosecutors are doubtful that a deal is achievable before Mandelblit’s term ends on January 31.

Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu at a Likud faction meeting at the Knesset, on November 15, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

None of the reports cite sources.

According to Channel 12, at a meeting yesterday between the Netanyahu family and their attorneys, the lawyers said the agreement on offer was the best they can achieve for Netanyahu.

The network says the meeting was mostly intended to convince the opposition leader’s family leaders to accept the deal, as Netanyahu himself is already for it.

According to Channel 13, at the meeting, Netanyahu’s wife Sara opined that “the prosecution is toying with us. They’ll show everyone that Bibi is prepared to admit to crimes, and then they’ll thwart the deal. Mandeblit cannot be trusted.”

Channel 12 notes both sides are aware that the devil is in the details: if the terms are too lenient, the court may end up refusing to accept it, and if the charges are too severe, the court may demand a harsher sentence than the sides agree to.

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