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Netanyahu corruption trial delayed for third time

Israel shows its true colours
Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu look thoughtful as he sits in the Knesset before parliament votes to approve the new government on June 13, 2021 in Jerusalem [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

The corruption trial of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been delayed for the third time due to disagreements between the prosecution and the defence over the handling of new evidence. The trial was expected to start next Monday but has been delayed for another week and will reconvene on 19 June.

With the six-week summer legal recess beginning 21 July until 1 September, and Jewish High Holidays in September, the trial isn't expected to get into full gear until October. Further delays are likely to allow for the cross-examination of new evidence. The additional information is said to include information from the phone of a former CEO of the media company at the centre of one of the many corruption scandals involving Netanyahu.

READ: Netanyahu ordered illegal shredding of docs before Bennett takeover

Netanyahu has been charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three separate corruption cases: Case 1000 involves allegations that the former prime minister and his wife accepted illegal gifts from businessmen; Case 2000 accuses Netanyahu of attempting to buy favourable newspaper coverage; Case 3000, also known as the "submarine scandal", would have seen Israel purchase naval vessels and submarines from a German firm with millions of shekels allegedly "skimmed" off the top of the deals for personal profit.

However, the latest delay is to Case 4000, wherein Netanyahu is alleged to have abused his powers while serving as both premier and communications minister from 2014 to 2017. The 71-year-old, who was ousted last month by Neftali Bennett, a far-right ultra-nationalist aligned closely with Israel's illegal settlements, is said to have boosted the business interests of a media mogul in exchange for positive media coverage.

Netanyahu's corruption scandal - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Netanyahu's corruption scandal – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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