Thousands of people held demonstrations last night opposite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's home in Caesarea, in Paris Square in Jerusalem, and on bridges and other locations around Israel. The demonstrators were protesting against the decision by the Jerusalem District Court on Friday to postpone the hearing set down for this Wednesday of the corruption cases against the prime minister, with the prime minister himself and his fellow defendants due to appear in court. They also called for an investigation into Netanyahu's role in alleged corruption in the procurement of submarines for the Israel Navy.
Demonstrations against the prime minister have been held regularly every Saturday night for 29 weeks, but, in the wake of the court's decision on postponing his trial, the crowds last night were larger than of late. Demonstrators accused the prime minister of engineering Israel's third lockdown in order to avoid coming to court.
Last Thursday, the head of the courts administration announced that, after consultation with Supreme Court President Esther Hayut, Minister of Justice Benny Gantz, and the Israel Bar Association, it had been decided that the courts in Israel would operate in a reduced format during the period of the stricter lockdown regulations, until January 21. It was left to the discretion of judges to decide whether or not a particular hearing should be deferred.
Accordingly, the panel of Jerusalem District Court judges decided that, in the light of the large numbers of people who would attend the sharing at which Netanyahu and his fellow defendants were due to answer the charges against them, the hearing would be postponed. No new date for the hearing has yet been set.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the other defendants in the criminal cases involving him deny the charges against them, have not been convicted of any crime, and are entitled to the presumption of innocence.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 10, 2021
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