A lawyer, who was representing the Israeli prime minister resigned on Wednesday, 11 days before the second session of Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial.
Micha Fetman stepped down on the heels of a Thursday decision by the State Comptroller Committee to deny Netanyahu’s request to accept financial support to the tune of 10 million shekels (some 3 million dollars) from tycoon Spencer Partrich.
The committee denied his request, citing a conflict of interests as Partrich is on the witness list for the upcoming trial.
The committee also said, in a letter to Netanyahu’s lawyers, that the sum would be viewed as a gift, which a public official cannot legally accept.
Indeed, part of the indictment against Netanyahu concerns illegal gifts which he allegedly received.
According to media reports, in light of the committee’s decision, Fetman was concerned that he would not be paid.
Fetman declined to comment on the matter.
Fetman only joined Netanyahu’s legal team recently, but follows a string of other lawyers who have reportedly quit on similar grounds.
Fetman represented Netayahu on the first day of his trial in May.
Israel’s longest-serving prime minister was officially indicted on bribery, fraud and breach of trust in January.
Netanyahu allegedly accepted expensive gifts and attempted to improve press coverage by offering political favours to wealthy businessmen and media moguls.
He has denied any wrongdoing and says the charges are politically motivated by a prosecution seeking to oust him.
If he is convicted for bribery, Netanyahu could face up to 10 years in prison.
For fraud and breach of trust, he could face a maximum sentence of three years, though that sentence is seen as unlikely.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
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