Date set for start of Netanyahu trial

Benjamin Netanyahu / Photo: Ronen Zvulun, Reuters, Reuters

The trial will begin on March 17, but hearing of evidence in the case will begin only six months from now.

The trial of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will begin on March 17, 2020, Jerusalem District Court Judges Rivka Friedman-Feldman, Moshe Bar-Am, and Oded Shaham announced today. The three judges will hear the case.

The trial will begin with a reading of the indictment, but evidence in the case will heard only six months from now. The Knesset elections are scheduled for March 2, two weeks before the trial begins.

The hearing of the indictment will take place on March 17 in the presence of the defendants, meaning that Netanyahu will have to attend it.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit filed an indictment against Netanyahu for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust on November 21, 2019.

Netanyahu is accused of bribery in Case 4000 (the Walla!-Bezeq case), accepting favors in Case 2000 (talks with "Yedioth Ahronoth" publisher Arnon Mozes), and accepting favors in Case 1000 (the gifts case). Mozes is being charged with offering a bribe, and former Bezeq controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch and his wife, Iris Elovitch, are both being charged with bribery.

In deciding to indict Netanyahu for bribery in Case 4000 and fraud and breach of trust in Cases 1000 and 2000, Mandelblit accepted the recommendation of State Attorney Shai Nitzan and Tel Aviv district State Attorney (taxation and economics) Adv. Liat Ben-Ari, who advocated an indictment on these charges following Netanyahu's pre-indictment hearing.

As recommended by the State Attorney's Office, Shaul and Iris Elovitz were indicted for bribery, obstruction of justice, and subordination in Case 4000. Shaul Elovitz is also being indicted for other offenses. Also as recommended by the State Attorney's Office, the Attorney General is indicting Mozes for offering a bribe in Case 2000.

A week ago, Jerusalem District Court President Judge Aharon Farkash selected the judges who will hear the cases of Netanyahu, the Elovitzes, and Mozes. Friedman-Feldman will be the presiding judge, with Bar-Am and Shaham also on the panel.

Presumption of innocence: The legal proceedings against Netanyahu, Mozes, and Shaul and Iris Elovitch are ongoing. All of the suspects deny the charges against them, and are entitled to a presumption of innocence.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 18, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

Benjamin Netanyahu / Photo: Ronen Zvulun, Reuters, Reuters
Benjamin Netanyahu / Photo: Ronen Zvulun, Reuters, Reuters
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