00:56 GMT20 January 2021
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    The three cases against the Israeli prime minister have many holes, believes a person who used to represent him, adding there is a chance that Benjamin Netanyahu will emerge from the trial relatively unscathed.

    Wednesday was supposed to see the resumption of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial in Jerusalem, where he was expected to show up, accepting or refuting the allegations against him.

    But the two-week lockdown imposed on Israel following a surge in COVID-19 cases has changed those plans, pushing the trial to February.

    Relatively Unscathed?

    When it finally kicks off, the three judges on the case will need to listen to the testimony of 333 people, a process likely to take several years and Oded Mudrik, a professor at Ariel University and a retired judge who represented the PM in the past, says there is a chance the prime minister will emerge from the trial relatively unscathed.

    "There is always a chance that he can win that case. I saw many instances, where nobody would believe that the tried person could be acquitted and although in most cases, this is definitely the case, there is still a possibility that he will pull it out". 

    In the PM's case, Mudrik believes the prosecution that is currently charging Netanyahu with bribery, corruption, and breach of trust, has erred. As a result, parts of the charges against him are misrepresented and that may lead to a situation, where the court could potentially see the accusations against Netanyahu in a different light.

    The three cases against Netanyahu have their holes. In Case 1000, where Netanyahu is accused of receiving gifts for himself and his family, the defence will most likely claim they were given in a friendly manner.

    Case 2000 has its own problems, primarily because Netanyahu was allegedly the one who was bribed by the chairman of the major news outlet Yediot Ahronot, Arnold Moses, and according to Mudrik he "didn't have any ill thinking" while talking to the conglomerate's chief.

    And, finally, Case 4000 is regarded as unprecedented, because there have never been instances where relations between politicians and the media were scrutinised, or where an official has been accused of flirting with news outlets.

    System Out to Get Netanyahu?

    The PM's defence team is most likely going to capitalise on these and other holes, while Netanyahu himself will make sure to stick to his previous mantra that the entire system is hounding him in an attempt to bring him down.

    That trick worked for him before. In 2019, when Israel's Attorney General Avichai Mandelblitt decided to indict Netanyahu in a series of graft probes, thousands took to the streets across Israel voicing their support for the prime minister, who they felt was being wrongfully accused. At the time, they demanded the police and the judiciary take their hands off the PM.

    Mudrik doesn't buy Netanyahu's claims that the entire system is against him and says that if that was the case, "somebody would have most definitely leaked the plot". Yet, he is still certain that the accusations against the PM were a result of "incorrect thinking" and if that is proven in court, Bibi will likely evade a prison sentence.

    "I am not his judge and I don't know what they will decide. But if I was in their place, I wouldn't send him to prison unless he is found guilty of bribery. I think if Netanyahu leaves office and concentrates on his legal battles, he will be able to reach a deal with the prosecution".
    Tags:
    Israel, judge, attorney, corruption, trial, Benjamin Netanyahu
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