Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is currently leading the war-torn nation, is set to face the corruption trial on Monday after a hiatus of more than two months. Notably, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister was accused of massive corruption which allegedly includes receiving cigars, Champagne, bracelets, bags and luxury clothes; disrupting investigative and judicial proceedings; and even demanding fawning coverage by two leading Israeli news outlets, The New York Times had reported.
It is worth mentioning the investigation was first started in 2016 when the authorities allegedly found "credible information" that Netanyahu had a "habit of performing official favours for wealthy businessmen in exchange for gifts both material and intangible". Besides, Netanyahu, his wife, Sara, is also said to have received gifts but is not a defendant in the trial. The claim was refuted by the Prime Minister multiple times.
However, after two years of investigation, the police recommended that he should be formally prosecuted. In 2019, Netanyahu was indicted but the trial began in May 2020. However, the trial was deferred multiple times owing to the coronavirus pandemic and other issues.
In June this year, the court had listed the matter to be heard in October but the date was again postponed to December following a surprise attack by Hamas.
Some 50 more witnesses are still lined up to testify in the trial, which has been ongoing for four years. Regional Cooperation Minister David Amsalem criticized the timing of the court’s decision to resume the trial, reported Jerusalem Post.