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Chances of plea deal for Israel's ex-PM Benjamin Netanyahu receding 

JERUSALEM - NOVEMBER 16: Former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) arrives for a court hearing on corruption charges at the Jerusalem District Court as he made his third courtroom appearance, in Jerusalem on November 16, 2021. ( AFP/Jack Guez/Pool - Anadolu Agency )
Former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) arrives for a court hearing on corruption charges at the Jerusalem District Court as he made his third courtroom appearance, in Jerusalem on November 16, 2021. [AFP/Jack Guez/Pool - Anadolu Agency]

The chances of reaching a plea bargain between Israel's former Prime Minister and head of the opposition, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the prosecution have declined in recent days amid strong opposition from prosecution staff who had put the case against Netanyahu, local media reports said Thursday.

According to the reports, up until recently, the prosecutor in Netanyahu's cases, Liat Ben Ari, has been the only one informed of the plea deal terms with Netanyahu. However, when the prosecution staff involved in the corruption files were briefed about the deal, they strongly opposed it "as favouring Netanyahu".

Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said other disagreements over the deal include the length of community service which Netanyahu would have to do instead of an actual prison sentence and the nature of the indictment.

Reports: Israel's ex-PM Netanyahu accepts plea deal in corruption trial

Earlier this week, Israeli media outlets reported that Netanyahu is close to reaching a plea bargain in his corruption trial.

The reported agreement would see Netanyahu admitting to two counts of breach of trust, resulting in a suspended prison sentence and a few months of prison time that will be commuted to community service.

However, the major remaining sticking point appears to be the insistence of the Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, on a charge of moral turpitude; a clause which would bar Netanyahu from political life for seven years.

Netanyahu is on trial in three separate graft cases: for fraud and breach of trust in Case 1000 and in Case 2000, for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in Case 4000.

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