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Ex-Walla CEO Says He Was Ordered to Skew Netanyahu Coverage
Supporters of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gather near the Jerusalem District Court ahead of the evidentiary phase in Netanyahu's graft trial on April 5, 2021. (Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Ex-Walla CEO Says He Was Ordered to Skew Netanyahu Coverage

The former CEO of the Walla news website told a Jerusalem courtroom that he was ordered to skew coverage in favor of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanuahu. Ilan Yeshua testified on Monday in the corruption trial against Netanyahu.

Yeshua said in his testimony that interference with Walla’s news coverage began in late 2012. He said that the requests came from Netanyahu and his family through Bezeq and Walla owner Shaul Elovitch. In addition to preventing the publishing of negative articles against Netanyahu and his family, Yeshua said he also was instructed to publish negative articles against Netanyahu’s political rivals.

Yeshua declared in the courtroom that he was “abused” by Elovitch and Netanyahu’s messengers. He said that the “urgency and intensity” of the requests to change articles about Netanyahu was “high” and that up to 70% of his interactions with Elovitch centered around Netanyahu coverage.

Yeshua’s testimony came after the prosecution’s opening statement on Monday morning. Netanyahu was in the courtroom for the opening statement but left before Yeshua began testifying.

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