Israeli PM Netanyahu’s trial to start March 17: ministry

In this file photo taken on February 16, 2020 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs his weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on February 16, 2020.(AFP)
Short Url
Updated 18 February 2020

Israeli PM Netanyahu’s trial to start March 17: ministry

  • The announcement comes as Netanyahu's campaigns ahead of March 2 elections

JERUSALEM: The trial of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges will open on March 17, the justice ministry said Tuesday.
It said the indictment would be read by judge Rivka Friedman-Feldman in the presence of Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
The announcement comes as the 70-year-old prime minister campaigns ahead of March 2 elections, Israel’s third in less than a year, after two previous polls resulted in a deadlock between Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz.
Gantz had refused after September elections to join a unity government led by Netanyahu, saying he must first settle his differences with the judiciary before taking power.
Netanyahu was charged in the autumn last year with bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit formally presented the charge sheet to the Jerusalem district court on January 28 after Netanyahu had withdrawn a request seeking parliamentary immunity lodged earlier that month.
His opponents had already mustered a majority in the legislature to deny him immunity.
Netanyahu is Israel’s only head of government to have been indicted during his term in office.
Under Israeli law, a sitting prime minister is only required to step down once convicted of an offense and after all avenues of appeal have been exhausted.
Netanyahu denies the charges and says he is the victim of a politically motivated witch-hunt.


France’s Macron to co-host Lebanon donor conference on Sunday, officials say

Updated 57 min 30 sec ago

France’s Macron to co-host Lebanon donor conference on Sunday, officials say

  • The conference will seek pledges from participants
  • It is expected to decide how to distribute the aid so it benefits the people directly

PARIS, France: French President Emmanuel Macron will host a donor conference for Lebanon via video-link on Sunday, his office said, as countries mobilize to help rebuild Beirut after this week’s massive blast.
The conference, which will be co-chaired by the United Nations, will seek pledges from participants including US President Donald Trump. It is expected to decide how to distribute the aid so it benefits the people directly.
Macron, who visited Beirut on Thursday, promised angry Lebanese crowds that aid to rebuild the city ravaged by Tuesday’s huge explosion would not fall into “corrupt hands.”