Israeli Court Postpones Netanyahu’s Trial over Coronavirus Fears

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: File)

An Israeli court on Sunday postponed the trial of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges to May 24 amid fears of the novel coronavirus.

The move came one day after Justice Minister Amir Ohana declared a state of emergency in courts due to the outbreak in the country.

“All court activity will be frozen in Israel except for urgent hearings,” Ohana said in a statement on Saturday.

Israeli authorities have confirmed 200 cases of coronavirus so far in the country.

Netanyahu’s trial was set to begin on March 17.

The right-wing leader is the first sitting Israeli prime minister to be charged with a crime.

Netanyahu was indicted in November on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust over allegations that he granted state favors worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Israeli media barons in return for gifts and favorable coverage.

Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing, saying he is the victim of a witch hunt by the media and the political left aiming to remove a popular right-wing leader.

Netanyahu could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of bribery and a maximum three-year term for fraud and breach of trust.

(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)

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