Israeli PM files request for his absence in the opening trial over corruption charges

The criminal trial against the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is to start on May 24 in the Jerusalem District Court and on May 19 the Israeli Prime Minister has filed a request not to stand before the court.

Netanyahu’s trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust was set to begin in March, but has been postponed to May 24 due to lock-down restrictions amidst the outbreak of the COVID-19.

Citing security concerns, the lawyers of PM Benjamin Netanyahu requested the court that the presence of the PM is “unnecessary” and will cost “a fortune” as it will necessitate the presence of at least five security guards.

Responding to the request filed by the Israeli PM, the Justice Ministry said, it “does not see a reason to deviate from the distinguished court’s decision on the presence of defendants”. The Ministry also noted “the importance of justice being seen to be done, and of public trust” during the unprecedented trial.

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