Crime & Justice

Israeli prime minister Netanyahu on trial for corruption

Jerusalem, May 24 (efe-epa).- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has arrived at a Jerusalem court where he will stand trial for corruption charges.

He is the first serving leader in the country’s history to face a criminal prosecution.

Netanyahu, 70, is accused of accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust in relation to three separate cases.

He is alleged to have received gifts in exchange for favors and offered to help news outlets in return for positive coverage for himself and his family.

His lawyers had tried to avoid the leader being photographed on the court bench but the Jerusalem District Court ruled that justice should be the same for everyone.

Netanyahu, who has been head of Israel’s government since 2009, was ordered to sit beside his co-defendants.

The parties are expected to present several motions to the court on Sunday, which is a working day in Israel.

The trial itself is not due to start for anywhere between six months to a year.

Proceedings are taking place with a limited number of attendees in the courtroom due to the coronavirus pandemic and is being live broadcast by videolink to a separate press room.

Netanyahu has denied all the charges against him and said while arriving at the courthouse that the allegations were aimed at “toppling him in any way possible”.

The case against him does not appear to have undermined his public support.

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