Netanyahu Trial Begins Monday

Yerushalayim District Court. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90/File)

The corruption trial of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ is scheduled to open on Monday morning, the Yerushalayim District Court, with the prime minister in attendance.

The first session is expected to be about Netanyahu’s response to the criminal indictment against him and should see the state prosecutors launch their presentation of the evidence.

Netanyahu will probably be asked to verbally confirm the defense filed by his lawyers, who will make verbal arguments to add to their written response filed with the court last month.

The hearing takes place after several delays due to the coronavirus lockdown, as well as a number of procedural motions by the defense counsel.

The court will also discuss whether the evidentiary stage will be postponed until after the March 23 Knesset elections, and whether Netanyahu’s physical presence will be required during an expected three long hearings per week.

Two courtrooms have been combined to accommodate the trial and security will be heavy.

The public will not be able to watch the proceedings online. CCTV footage will be broadcast to journalists in an adjacent room, and they can report the hearing’s events in written form.

Netanyahu reportedly told supporters not to come to the court to demonstrate for him, as they were preparing to do, so as to avoid possibly spreading the coronavirus.

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