Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Netanyahu defiant as he arrives for start of trial

In three cases outlining separate allegations of wrongdoing, the premier stands charged with one cou..

By Sunday Herald Team , in Middle East , at May 25, 2020

In three cases outlining separate allegations of wrongdoing, the premier stands charged with one count of bribery and three counts of fraud and breach of trust. It is the first time a sitting Israeli prime minister has appeared in court as a defendant. In the most serious case, Netanyahu is accused of advancing regulatory benefits worth more than 1 billion shekels (more than $283 million) in favor a telecommunications company controlled by a millionaire friend, prosecutors say. In exchange, Netanyahu received favorable coverage from a news site, even influencing wording and story selection, prosecutors allege. Sunday's proceedings were finished in under an hour, as they were mostly procedural. "I read the indictment and I understand its content," Netanyahu told the court.He did not enter a plea, but he has repeatedly proclaimed his innocence.Before taking his place in the courtroom, he made a statement with senior members of his Likud Party standing behind him.He described his indictments as a "stitch-up" — an effort by Israel's liberal and media elites to topple him and his right-wing bloc.The media was looking only to film him sitting on the bench in court, Netanyahu said, adding that he would ask the court to transmit the entire trial live.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands with lawyers in Jerusalem's District Court on Sunday."I am here as your Prime Minister, with straight back and proud," he told those watching at home. "When the public is exposed to the whole truth, the cases will crumble."Participants in the small district courtroom wore masks, even while speaking. As the three judges entered, Netanyahu remained standing. He sat only after a cameraman had been ushered out of the room, per an earlier agreement on court procedures.In discussions about the timetable, defense lawyer Micha Fetman said he was new to the team and needed time to read all the material, which prosecutor Liat Ben-Ari Shweky said would take about three months.Fetman requested all defendants — Netanyahu, along with two businessmen and one of the businessmen's wives — be excused from attending every court session, procedural hearings in particular, and the prosecution did not oppose the move.Proceedings were adjourned until July 19, though it could be months before the pRead More – Source

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