Israel court orders Netanyahu to appear for opening of trial

AP , Wednesday 20 May 2020

FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for a speech at his Jerusalem office, regarding the new measures that will be taken to fight the coronavirus, March 14, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)

An Israeli court on Wednesday ordered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to appear for the opening of his criminal trial in Jerusalem on Sunday.

Netanyahu's attorneys had asked the court for an exemption from appearing for the opening of proceedings.

The court rejected the request, saying that the accused appearing for the reading of the indictment is the rule and there are no grounds for granting Netanyahu an exemption in this case.

Netanyahu was indicted on charges of fraud, breach of trust, and accepting bribes earlier this year.

Netanyahu's trial was supposed to begin last month, but was delayed by his justice minister due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Israel's longest-serving prime minister, Netanyahu swore in his fourth consecutive government earlier this week after the country's third national election in under a year.

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