Netanyahu Agrees to Leave of Absence if Indicted, Top Likud Member Says as Day Two of Hearing Begins

The second day of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's pre-indictment hearing began Thursday as Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein told Army Radio that the premier agreed to take a temporarily leave of absence if indicted, giving Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz expanded authority. 

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During coalition negotiations, President Reuven Rivlin suggested a model in which the government would be split evenly between the two blocs, Netanyahu's Likud and Kahol Lavan with Gantz seeing his authority expanded should the prime minister be suspended.

>> Read more: 3 cases, 4 days and dozens of lawyers: Netanyahu's pre-indictment hearing begins ■ This is how Netanyahu's attorneys will try to save him from trial

"There is a great deal of attention at the attorney general's office…I believe we will need this whole day to finish our arguments in Case 4000 and continue next week to the upcoming cases," Netanyahu's lawyer Yosef Ashkenazi said Thursday. 

The first two days of the hearing have been focused on Case 4000, which centers on suspicions Netanyahu acted to benefit media mogul Shaul Elovitch in return for favorable news coverage. The prime minister could be charged with bribery and fraud and breach of trust in this case. Early next week the hearing will center around Cases 1000 and 2000 – gifts in exchange for political favors, and legislation in exchange for favorable coverage, respectively.