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What Is Special About The Trial Of The Israeli Prime Minister Today?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the trial on May 24. (Source: Times of Israel)

On May 24, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in the District Court of Jerusalem when the trial of corruption charges against him began. 

Netanyahu said the opponents were using these "ridiculous" allegations to overthrow themselves. In his statement to the press before going to court, Netanyahu emphasized:
"The goal (of these allegations) is to overthrow a right-wing prime minister and thereby remove the right from the leadership role in for years".
Netanyahu also asserted that he still "stands" and will continue to lead the country.

The first session ends after about 1 hour. In front of the court, Mr. Netanyahu only spoke about the identity and the trial was postponed at about 20h. Mr. Netanyahu's defense team has asked for the adjournment to review the evidence and there is no timeline for the next session.

Earlier, on May 7, the Israeli National Assembly officially appointed Prime Minister Netanyahu to form a new coalition government despite his trial on corruption charges. The move paved the way for Mr. Netanyahu to come closer to his fifth term as Prime Minister after more than a year of political deadlock.

However, this also means that for the first time an incumbent prime minister in Israel has been brought to trial. Charged with bribery, fraud and abuse of trust in three different lawsuits, the 70-year-old prime minister has always denied any wrongdoing.

After a three-year investigation, Netanyahu was indicted in November 2019 for fraud, treason and bribery charges. The trial of Netanyahu was supposed to take place last month, but was delayed when Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit decided to close most of the court system due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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