Who is Benjamin Netanyahu? What is he accused of? Will Benjamin Netanyahu end up in prison? The trial, explained.
The trial of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges has opened in Jerusalem, days after he began a new term in office.
Mr Netanyahu, 70, is the first standing leader to face trial in the country’s history. He is the leader of the right-wing Likud party and is Israel’s longest-serving PM, having been in power 11 years.
WHAT IS BENJAMIN NETANYAHU ACCUSED OF?
Mr Netanyahu has been indicted in three cases, known as 1,000, 2,000 and 4,000:
- Case 1,000 – Fraud and breach of trust: he is accused of receiving gifts – mainly cigars and bottles of champagne – from powerful businessmen in exchange for favours.
- Case 2,000 – Fraud and breach of trust: Mr Netanyahu is accused of offering to help improve the circulation of Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot in exchange for positive coverage.
- Case 4,000 – Bribery, fraud and breach of trust: as PM and minister of communications at the time of the alleged offence, Mr Netanyahu is accused of promoting regulatory decisions favourable to the controlling shareholder in the Bezeq telecom giant, Shaul Elovitch, in exchange for positive coverage by Mr Elovitch’s Walla news site.
He denies accusations of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
HOW CAN THE PRIME MINISTER SERVE AND STAND TRIAL AT THE SAME TIME?
According to Israeli law, a leader charged with a crime is not required to resign. But there is no precedent.
He wants to move ahead with annexing parts of the West Bank, which eliminates any possibility of achieving peace between Palestine and Israel.
Reminder: Israel and Palestine have been fighting for the same land for ages, and Netanyahu wants the disappearance of Palestine. Benjamin Netanyahu trial explained