Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to attend a court trial for old allegations of Fraud, bribery, and breach of trust. Israel, in the meantime, is involved in a two-months long war with Hamas in Gaza that has left about 15,000 dead and millions displaced.
After a break brought on by the conflict in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister is scheduled to face the next phase of his protracted trial on many counts of corruption.
According to sources in the Israeli outlets, a court in Israel is scheduled to begin hearing the case tomorrow. The lawsuit centers on many claims of bribery against Benjamin Netanyahu. After the Hamas attack against Israel on October 7, Israel’s justice minister issued an emergency order pausing the proceedings.
In three charges filed in 2019, Case 1000, 2000, and 4000, Netanyahu is accused of fraud, bribery, and breach of trust. In the first Case, Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife are charged with accepting presents from well-known Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer in exchange for political favors. The gifts allegedly included champagne and cigars.
Bribery accusations are punishable by a fine and/or a maximum term of 10 years in prison in Israel. There is a maximum three-year jail term for fraud and breach of trust.
The prime minister of Israel with the longest tenure has refuted any misconduct. He alleges that competitors and the media are politically manipulating a “witch-hunt” against him in an attempt to oust him from power. Beginning in May 2020, the prosecution’s case has been postponed many times due to disagreements between the prosecution and defense as well as the pandemic emergency condition.
The Prime Minister has been also charged with trying to get around his legal issues by exploiting the law in the meantime. Prior to the October 7 assaults, the country had been embroiled in long months of demonstrations over Netanyahu’s divisive proposals to restructure the legal system.
The proposed modifications, according to critics, would damage Israel’s economy, politicize the court, undermine its independence, and encourage fraud. Netanyahu has justified the initiative and downplayed the demonstrations, saying that his goal is to put the three arms of government back in their correct proportion.