Arriving at court, Netanyahu demands ‘delusional trial’ be broadcast live; charges are ‘fabricated’; ‘my head is held high’

Arriving at the Jerusalem District Court for the opening hearing in his criminal trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rails against Israel’s justice system, accusing it of being riddled with internal corruption and conspiracies to bring him down.

“What’s on trial today is an effort to frustrate the will of the people — to bring down me and the right-wing camp,” he says.

“For more than a decade the left has failed to do this at the ballot box… In recent years they have found a new trick — police and prosecutors have joined the ‘Anyone but Bibi’ gang to fabricate these delusional and fabricated cases, this delusional trial.”

He says that “they aim to to bring down a strong prime minister from the right and to distance the right from power for many years.”

“A cooperative poodle from the right would be fine for them. But I’m not a poodle… I’m not prepared to uproot settlements… and so I must be removed by any means.”

“There are no limits to their efforts to bring me down,” he says of both the media and the justice system. He says they fear his right-wing policies and seek “to bring me down in any way possible.”

The investigations “were polluted and fabricated from the start… so no surprise that an absurd indictment” was ultimately filed.”

His accusers “did everything to ensure I would arrive here no longer as PM but as a beaten politician,” he says, “but people of Israel, you are far smarter… We won more votes than any party ever won…”

Accusing the media of being unable to properly cover the trial, which will be held behind closed doors but broadcast on a live feed only to journalists in the adjacent rooms, Netanyahu demands that the full trial be broadcast live.

“The public should hear everything and not through the prosecutor’s court reporters,” he says.

“I stand here with straight back and head held high,” he says.

He urges the release of the recordings relating to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and the Harpaz affair.

Relating to alleged intimidation of witnesses against him, he asks: “Is that the rule of law? Is that democracy?”

In 244 years of democracy worldwide, “there was never a prosecution for favorable press coverage. It’s absurd,” he says. “They invented a special clause for me that doesn’t exist in any law book in Israel or the world.”

“When you have to destroy me — a strong PM from the right — everything, but everything is possible.”

“How could the attorney general back up all these efforts and sign the indictment? Was he pressured? Does he have something personal to hide? Is that something, the [Harpaz] recordings in a Justice Ministry safe?… So publish all the recordings.”

“There is no better disinfectant than the sun.”

“If the public knows the whole truth, all these cases will fall apart.”

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