Netanyahu Trial Moved Up as Virus Rules Eased

netanyahu trial
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (Gali Tibbon/Pool via Reuters/File)

The gradual reopening of the economy is good news for Israelis, but for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ it means his trial will start sooner than expected.

PM Netanyahu’s trial in three cases of alleged corruption, originally scheduled to begin in early March, was postponed to May 24 due to Health Ministry regulations limiting public gatherings, and that included the courts. At the time, Justice Minister Amir Ohana declared a “state of emergency” in the courts due to the pandemic.

However, now the trial can begin sooner. District Court President Judge Yigal Mersel notified the Israel Bar Association that from May 3, the courts would be hearing an expanded range of cases, including criminal ones, The Times of Israel reported on Thursday.

For the past few weeks courts were open only for urgent hearings on arrest and remand orders, administrative detention orders, offenses under legislation “relating to the special emergency” and certain interim relief in civil matters.