Attorney general gives Netanyahu until November to testify in his corruption trial

Attorney general gives Netanyahu until November to testify in his corruption trial
Attorney general gives Netanyahu until November to testify in his corruption trial

Jerusalem, Jul 7 (EFE).- Israel’s Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara proposed on Sunday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s testimony in his corruption trial be held no later than November 1, rejecting his defense’s request to postpone it until March of next year.

Baharav-Miara’s office said in a court document reported by The Times of Israel that postponing Netanyahu’s testimony would be equivalent to freezing the case for eight months.

“The public interest (…) is that the criminal process be completed and a verdict be reached. Delaying the completion of the process causes substantial harm to the public,” the office said.

The Jerusalem District Court is expected to hold a hearing on Tuesday to decide whether to accept the arguments of the president’s defense.

Last week, Netanyahu’s lawyers asked the court not to require him to testify until March 2025, saying “in the current reality, where the defense is required to prepare the prime minister to give testimony in the midst of a war, the necessary period… is much longer” than usual, according to the request.

Netanyahu has been charged since 2019 with fraud, bribery and breach of trust in three separate corruption cases, known as ‘1,000’, ‘2,000’ and ‘4,000’, and is accused of receiving gifts in exchange for favors and alleged preferential treatment to receive positive media coverage about him and his family.

The process began in May 2020 but was put on the back burner in 2022 and played almost no role in the campaign for the elections of November 1 of that year, after which the president returned to power with the most right-wing government in the history of Israel.

Following the Hamas attacks on October 7 and the start of the war in Gaza, the case was put on hold and was only reopened at the end of the year with a hearing in which several testimonies were heard regarding the accusations against the politician.

If convicted, Netanyahu would have to resign, but he would be able to remain in power while the trial is ongoing. Israeli law requires a minister to step down when indicted, but this does not apply to a head of government.

(c) EFE Agency

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