JERUSALEM (JTA) — Yaakov Weinroth, a prominent Israeli attorney who represented several top Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has died.
Weinroth died Tuesday of cancer. He was 71 and reportedly worked until nearly his last day.
“Yaakov was exceptional in his personality, his wisdom, his mental acuity, his sense of justice and his loyalty to his people,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “This is a great loss to his family, friends and admirers, and it is a great loss to the Israeli justice system.”
Weinroth defended Netanyahu in two corruption investigations and served on the legal team for Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, who is on trial for alleged fraud. He also represented Netanyahu during his first term as prime minister in the 1990s, successfully defending him from corruption allegations.
His firm, Dr. J. Weinroth & Co., is one of Israel’s leading law firms specializing in white-collar crimes.
Weinroth has represented high-profile clients including current government ministers Avigdor Liberman, Arye Deri and Tzahi Hanegbi; the late prime minister Ariel Sharon; the late president Ezer Weizman; former government ministers Meir Sheetrit, Avraham Hirschson and Binyamin Ben Eliezer; and singers Eyal Golan and Kobi Peretz.
He moved to Israel with his parents from Germany in 1949 and studied at haredi Orthodox yeshivas; he was ordained as a rabbi. Weinroth joined the Israeli army at the start of the Six-Day War before studying law, earning a doctorate from Tel Aviv University in 1981.