Embattled Netanyahu's corruption trial resumestext_fields
Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial resumed on Monday in Jerusalem after more than a two-month pause amid the Israel-Hamas conflict
During the hearing, the Jerusalem District Court heard the questioning of a police investigator over the so-called "Case 4,000", in which Netanyahu allegedly promoted regulatory benefits for Bezeq, Israel's largest telecom company, in return for favorable coverage from a news website it owned.
The trial began in early 2020. The last hearing in the case took place on September 20, after which the court went on recess for the Jewish holidays. Subsequently, following the war with Hamas that started on October 7, it did not reconvene due to the ongoing conflict. The trial was paused on an emergency order from the country’s justice minister following Hamas’s attack on October 7.
Netanyahu has been charged with fraud, bribery and breach of trust in three cases filed in 2019, known as Case 1000, 2000 and 4000.
In Case 1000, the prime minister, along with his wife Sara, is accused of receiving gifts, including champagne and cigars, from prominent Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire businessman James Packer in return for political favours, Al Jazeera reported.
Bribery charges carry a sentence of up to 10 years in jail and/or a fine. Fraud and breach of trust carry a prison sentence of up to three years.
Amid the prime minister’s controversial plans to overhaul the judicial system, Israel had been mired in months of protests ahead of the October 7 attacks.
Critics have said the proposed changes would politicise the judiciary and compromise its independence, foster corruption and harm Israel’s economy.
Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving prime minister, is on trial for accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases, but he denies any wrongdoing.
(With inputs from IANS)