Netanyahu defends his innocence in the reopening of the corruption trial

Netanyahu defends his innocence in the reopening of the corruption trial

The Israeli prime minister faces again in court for crimes of bribery, fraud and abuse of authority with only six weeks to go to the elections

Benjamin Netanyahu, before the corruption hearing. / Reuters

Neither the massive vaccination campaign, nor the agreements to normalize relations with Arab countries serve Benyamin Netanyahu to overshadow the process he has open with the Israeli justice system, which prosecutes you for crimes of bribery, fraud and abuse of authority. With six weeks to go before the elections, the longest-serving prime minister in the history of the Jewish state once again appeared before the Jerusalem court and, as he did at his first appearance in May, pleaded “not guilty.” .

It is the second time that Netanyahu has gone to court and his lawyers asked delay the next visit to three to four months. The process has already registered several delays due to the three confinements that Israel has imposed to try to stop the pandemic, the last one lifted on Sunday.

Despite the request of the security forces to avoid gatherings, hundreds of protesters took to the streets near an armored court by the Police, which is located in the eastern part of the city. They received him shouting “resign!” and they didn’t stop booing him. They are the same people who for months have been camping in front of the official residence under posters that describe Netanyahu as “Crime minister” – Minister of Crime – and every Saturday they gather throughout the country to ask him to leave office as corrupt. The Likud leader spent barely twenty minutes in the room and left as soon as he could.

With six weeks to go before the elections, the fourth in less than two years in Israel, Netanyahu is following in the footsteps of Ehud Olmert, a former prime minister of his same party who was tried and found guilty of a crime of corruption for which he spent 16 months in prison. The difference is that the indictment against Olmert he arrived when he had already left the head of government. Despite the trial, Netanyahu remains high in popularity and is the leading candidate for victory in the elections, according to polls.

Three open cases

The cases against the prime minister are known as ‘Case 1000’ – in which he will be charged with fraud and breach of trust for receiving gifts such as cigars, jewelry and travel worth about 180,000 euros. Hollywood millionaire entrepreneurs, in exchange for favors – and the ‘Case 2000’, in which they accuse him of the same charges due to the conspiracy with the owner of the newspaper ‘Yedioth Ahronoth’, Arnon Mozes, also prosecuted, in exchange for obtaining favorable coverage.

The latest scandal to explode, and the most serious, is the ‘Case 4000’, in which he will face charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust after pressing to guarantee a favorable information coverage for him and his wife to Walla, portal news outlet owned by Shaul Elovitch, main shareholder from Bezeq, the telecommunications giant in the country. If convicted, the penalty can lead to up to ten years in prison.


Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel