Expected proceedings as PM’s trial starts in earnest

State Prosecutor Liat Ben-Ari is expected to open today’s court proceedings with a twenty-minute speech laying out the criminal charges against Benjamin Netanyahu.

The judges are later scheduled to hear from the former editor of the Walla news site, Ilan Yeshua, a key witness in Case 4000, the most serious of the three cases against Netanyahu.

The prime minister faces charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in Case 4000, and fraud and breach of trust charges in Case 1000 and Case 2000. He denies any wrongdoing, claims the charges are fabricated, and says he is the victim of an attempted political coup.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seen as he arrives for a court hearing at the Jerusalem District Court on February 8, 2021. (Reuven Kastro/POOLFlash90)

Today’s proceedings will mark the prime minister’s third appearance in court since the indictments were filed against him in January 2020. The premier most recently appeared before the judges in February of this year, formally pleading not guilty to the charges.

Following an irregular request from his attorneys, Netanyahu has been permitted by the judges to leave the courthouse following Ben-Ari’s opening statement, meaning he will not be in the room for Yeshua’s testimony.

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