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Israeli Premier Netanyahu’s corruption trial begins

Israelis demonstrate against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu due to his upcoming trial for corruption, wearing face masks and keeping two metres apart under strict coronavirus restrictions in Tel Aviv, Israel on April 25, 2020 [Daniel Bar On - Anadolu Agency]
Israelis demonstrate against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu due to his upcoming trial for corruption, wearing face masks and keeping two metres apart under strict coronavirus restrictions in Tel Aviv, Israel on April 25, 2020 [Daniel Bar On - Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday appeared in front of a Jerusalem court for his first hearing in a trial for corruption, Anadolu Agency reports.

Israeli daily Haaretz said this is “the first time in the country’s history that a sitting prime minister is facing a criminal trial.”

Netanyahu and his lawyers were present at the hearing, and the Israeli and international media were out in full force to cover the event.

Several government ministers and lawmakers were also present in a show of support for Netanyahu.

Ahead of the trail, Netanyahu accused police and prosecutors of plotting against him and asked for a live broadcast of the trial.

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Netanyahu’s trial was set to begin on March 17 but postponed to today amid fears of the novel coronavirus.

The Israeli premier is facing corruption charges in three cases that include bribery, breach of trust, and fraud. Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing.

In April, Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz agreed to form a national unity government.

Netanyahu, head of the ruling Likud party, and Gantz, head of the Blue and White party, agreed to form the government after failures that caused three early elections over the course of a year.

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