Netanyahu's corruption trial to be held today

TEHRAN, Apr. 05 (MNA) – Israeli regime's PM Benjamin Netanyahu is due in court for his corruption trial on Monday.

Judges have ordered Netanyahu to appear at the court for the prosecution's opening arguments in the case where he is charged with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust -- allegations he denies.

Netanyahu was formally charged last year with accepting improper gifts and seeking to trade regulatory favors with media moguls in exchange for positive coverage.

Anti-Netanyahu protesters, who dubbed him the "Crime Minister", surrounded the court ahead of his last appearance in February, and are expected to do so again on Monday.

Judges have said Netanyahu can leave the courtroom after the opening arguments when the witness testimony begins.

No quick resolution is expected.

The trial enters a more intensive, evidentiary phase on Monday but a ruling is still several months off.

Netanyahu would not be compelled to resign as prime minister unless he is convicted with all appeals exhausted. That could take several years.

While the regime's lead prosecutor Liat Ben-Ari will be laying out the criminal case against Tel Aviv's longest-serving leader, across the city the regime's President Reuven Rivlin will hold discussions that could determine Netanyahu's political fate, France 24 reported.

Israeli regime's March 23 election was its fourth inconclusive vote in less than two years, prolonging the worst political crisis in the nation's history.

Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party finished first, winning 30 seats in the 120-member parliament, but his ability to form a stable governing coalition is precarious, a reality that has plagued him for several years.

Rivlin on Monday begins two days of consultations with party officials to determine who has a plausible path towards a 61-seat majority, in a parliament bitterly divided between those who back Netanyahu and those committed to ending his 12-year tenure.

Customarily, Rivlin gives a 28-day window to form a government to the leader with most recommendations from individual lawmakers.

That can be extended 14 days at the president's discretion.

HJ/PR

News Code 171700

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