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AFP
July 9, 2020

Netanyahu lawyer quits after PM told can´t take money for defence

World

AFP
July 9, 2020

JERUSALEM: One of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu´s top defence lawyers dropped his client Wednesday, sources said, after the premier was denied permission to receive private funding for his legal team. Netanyahu, who is standing trial over corruption allegations, which he denies, had sought 10 million shekels ($2.9 million) from his US billionaire friend Spencer Partrich to help cover legal fees. But following a recommendation from Israel´s attorney general, a committee in the state comptroller´s office blocked Netanyahu from accepting the loan on grounds it amounted to an improper gift to a government official. The 70-year-old premier, whose personal fortune has been estimated at more than $10 million, was also ordered to return some of the money he received from his American cousin Nathan Milikowsky to cover legal expenses. Following those setbacks, defence lawyer Micha Fettman resigned from the right-wing premier´s defence team. Multiple Israeli media outlets reported Wednesday that the resignation was linked to money and the prospect that Fettman´s fees would not be covered.