The third session in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial will take place on December 6, with the premier's presence being mandatory.
Netanyahu's attorneys are expected to ask the Jerusalem District Court to squash the indictment against him. The prime minister is charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust. The presence of his co-accused will also be required.
The second hearing in Netanyahu’s trial opened last Sunday, with the premier’s attorney asking the court to delay the trial for six months due to the coronavirus.
One of Netanyahu's lawyers, Yossi Segev, said “it will be hard for me to face a masked witness and see if he’s telling the truth.”
The hearing focused on the additional amount of time to be given to Netanyahu’s lawyers to study the case's investigative materials.
The judges – panel head Rivka Friedman-Feldman, Moshe Bar-Am and Oded Shaham – ruled that the evidentiary phase of the trial will start in January 2021, with three sessions a week.
In the previous hearing, Netanyahu's former lawyer, Micha Fettman, argued that the evidentiary phase of the trial should begin only in March of 2021. Attorneys Jack Chen and Michal Rosen-Ozer, who are representing Shaul and Iris Elovitch, respectively, and attorney Navit Negev, representing Arnon Mozes, Netanyahu’s co-defendants, also pointed out the extent of the investigative material.
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The first hearing on this issue was held in May, during which it was agreed that Netanyahu’s lawyers would be given two months, after which the court would move on to discuss the rest of the time frame.
The prime minister is indicted in three affairs known as Case 1000, Case 2000 and Case 4000, cases that have been under investigation for more than three years.
The so-called Case 1000 involves lavish gifts that the prime minister allegedly received. Case 2000 involves contacts between Netanyahu and Arnon Mozes, in which the prime minister is alleged to have offered legislation favorable to Yedioth Ahronoth in exchange for favorable news coverage for the prime minister.
Case 4000 involves allegations of beneficial regulatory treatment for the Bezeq telecommunications firm in exchange for favorable news coverage for Netanyahu on Bezeq’s Walla news website through alleged contacts with Shaul and Iris Elovitch.