Judges rule to halt Netanyahu trial for 3 weeks

The Jerusalem District Court rules to delay hearings in the corruption trial of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for three weeks.

Lawyers for Netanyahu and ex-Bezeq telecom firm owner Shaul Elovitch had asked for proceedings in their clients’ high-profile trial to be halted until late September to allow more time to examine additional evidence set to be handed to them.

Judges instead decided to halt proceedings until July 5.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, leaving a courtroom at the Jerusalem District Court during a hearing in his corruption trial, April 5, 2021. (Oren Ben Hakoon/Pool)

The court last week ordered prosecutors to fully look through the phone of key witness former Walla CEO Ilan Yeshua. That came in response to a request from defense attorneys, who argued they were not given the texts from all relevant conversations on Yeshua’s phone. The search will focus on any conservations Yeshua had with politicians, businessmen, or other relevant individuals,  concerning his involvement in news coverage at Walla.

Prosecutor Yehudit Tirosh agreed that the proceedings should be delayed to allow time to search Yeshua’s phone and hand over the findings to the defense lawyers, but argued that a two-week postponement was sufficient.

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