Netanyahu faced accusations in 2019 of receiving gifts from wealthy friends and seeking to obtain preferential regulatory decisions for media investors in exchange for premium coverage
On Monday, an Israeli court decided to postpone the hearing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trial on corruption charges until after the parliamentary elections scheduled for next month, and the court set April 5 as the date for the start of hearing witnesses.
Netanyahu faced accusations in 2019 of receiving gifts from wealthy friends and seeking to obtain preferential regulatory decisions for investors in the media sector, in exchange for premium coverage.
Among the charges against Netanyahu are obtaining personal benefits by receiving gifts worth 700,000 shekels ($ 213,000) from the Israeli-Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, and 250,000 shekels ($ 72,000) from Australian billionaire James Packer.
The accusations were a central issue during three elections that did not produce an outright winner. Israel will hold its fourth parliamentary elections in two years on 23 March.
Earlier this month, Netanyahu denied the accusations against him before a panel of 3 judges in a Jerusalem court, and his defense lawyer accused the Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit – whom Netanyahu appointed to his position – of mishandling the file.
Netanyahu has been prime minister since 2009, after a first term between 1996 and 1999.
Israeli laws do not grant the prime minister any judicial immunity, and if convicted, he will not be forced to resign until after all judicial means have been exhausted.