Israel Postpones Netanyahu Graft Trial By 2 Months Over Coronavirus

 Israel Postpones Netanyahu Graft Trial By 2 Months Over Coronavirus

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial has been postponed until May 24, 2020, due to concerns about coronavirus.

Jerusalem’s District Court disclosed this on Sunday, March 15, 2020.

Netanyahu, the first Israeli Premier ever to be indicted in Office, had been scheduled to stand trial from Tuesday, March 17, 2020, over alleged bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

In a statement, the Court noted that given the coronavirus pandemic, it had been instructed to hear “only urgent matters”.

“We have decided to postpone the first hearing (in Netanyahu’s trial) until May 24,” the Court said.

Israel has 200 confirmed cases of the virus with tens of thousands of people in home quarantine.

Netanyahu has been charged with a range of offences including receiving improper gifts and offering a media mogul lucrative regulatory changes in exchange for favourable coverage, but reports say he denies wrongdoing.

Despite the indictments, Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party won the most seats in March 2 elections and he is aiming to form a new government.

But Likud and its allies fell short of the 61 seats needed for a majority in the Knesset, or parliament, being Israel’s third inconclusive vote in less than a year.

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