Corruption Trial for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Begins
Judges in the trial against Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were expected to hear evidence Monday.
According to CBN News, The long-serving prime minister is facing charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in three separate cases. Netanyahu has pled not guilty, calling the charges part of a “witch-hunt” against him.
In one case, Netanyahu is accused of receiving illicit gifts from international business executives in exchange for certain favors.
In another case, he is accused of helping the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot increase its distribution in exchange for positive coverage in the newspaper.
In the third corruption case, he is accused of a quid pro quo relationship with the main shareholder of Israel’s telecommunications company in exchange for positive coverage in the news.
The trial has been delayed multiple times. Monday the former editor of Walla! News was expected to testify.
Netanyahu is also trying to keep his prime minister seat. In Israel’s March elections, no one party in Israel managed to earn enough votes to secure a majority in parliament in the country’s fourth election in two years.
To win, a party would need to obtain 61 of the 120-seats in Israel’s parliament, or Knesset.
Because of the deadlock, the country is likely to hold a fifth election later this year.
The two parties, however, still have time to fight for the win as they each reach out to fringe parties for support in order to gain more seats.
In Israel, election results are presented to President Reuven Rivlin, who then chooses the party with the best chance of forming a majority coalition. That party has up to six weeks to gain a 61-seat majority in the Knesset, Israel's 120-seat parliament.
If the party fails, a majority of lawmakers can support another prime minister candidate who would have two weeks to form a coalition in parliament. If no majority coalition is formed in either case, the country could head to elections in August, NPR reports.
Israel’s parliament has been deadlocked since December 2018, and the country has not passed an updated national budget since March of that same year.
Netanyahu was first elected as prime minister in 2009.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Amir Levy/Stringer
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.