Netanyahu’s corruption trial resumes in Jerusalem

ATHENS, Jan. 2, 2020 (Xinhua) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a press conference after the signing of an agreement for the construction of the Eastern Mediterranean (EastMed) natural gas pipeline, in Athens, Greece, on Jan. 2, 2020. Greece, Cyprus, and Israel signed here on Thursday the intergovernmental agreement for the construction of the Eastern Mediterranean natural gas pipeline which is to be linking the region’s gas reserves to Greece and the rest of Europe. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos/IANS)

Jerusalem, July 19 (IANS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial resumed on Sunday at the Jerusalem District Court.

The second hearing of the trial, which Netanyahu and other defendants in the case were not obliged to attend, is focusing on an additional time given to his lawyers to study the investigation material, reports Xinhua news agency.

In the hearing, Netanyahu’s lawyer Yossi Segev asked for a postponement in the beginning of the trial due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We cannot investigate witnesses when the witness is wearing a mask,” he told the judges.

During the discussion, the judges are expected to determine the timetable for the hearings in the trial.

Netanyahu’s trial over bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three different cases began on May 24.

Israel’s longest-serving leader is facing growing public anger over his handling of the coronavirus crisis.

The accusations include accepting some $200,000 in gifts such as cigars and champagne from two billionaires, Hollywood-based Israeli movie mogul Arnon Milchan and Australian magnate James Packer, according to a Times of Israel report.

Netanyahu is also accused of offering to push legislation benefiting powerful Israeli media moguls in exchange for more positive coverage in their publications.

He denies any wrongdoing, saying he is the victim of a wide-ranging conspiracy and called the allegations baseless.

On Saturday, rallies were held outside the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and major road junctions across the country.

The police in a statement that at least 28 protesters were arrested.

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