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Israeli PM Netanyahu in court over corruption charges

Israeli PM Netanyahu in court over corruption charges

Israeli Prosecutor Liat Ben Ari accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of using his authority unlawfully during a corruption trial on Monday. Netanyahu arrived at the Central Court in occupied East Jerusalem, where his trial on corruption charges is being resumed.

The Prosecutor alleged that the PM had manipulated the government authority entrusted to him to obtain improper benefits from the owners of Israel's mainstream media to strengthen his personal matters. However, Netanyahu denied offence in the case where he has been charged with accepting bribery gifts and seeking to trade regulatory favours with media moguls in exchange for positive publicity. Witnesses will be heard on charges against the PM of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

The trial initially began in May 2020 after Netanyahu was accused of the charges in November 2019, with the police officially calling out for prosecution.

Israeli law does not require a prime minister to resign when charged with criminal offences unless convicted. However, other cabinet ministers will be forced to step down once in trial over any criminal charges.

Meanwhile, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin began sessions with party officials to nominate the next in charge of forming a governing coalition for the Knesset's next term.

Netanyahu has been Israel's prime minister since 2009 and is the first prime minister trialled for corruption while ruling.

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