An emergency order from the Israeli justice minister following the events of October 7 had put the case on hold.

After a break due to the Gaza war, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is about to resume his long-term trial on numerous corruption charges.

According to Israeli media reports, a Jerusalem court is scheduled to begin hearing the case on Monday, which involves several corruption allegations against Netanyahu. The trial was suspended following an emergency order from the country’s justice minister following Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel.

Netanyahu was accused of fraud, bribery and breach of trust in three cases known as Case 1000, 2000 and 4000 in 2019.

In Case 1000, the Prime Minister, along with his wife Sara, are accused of receiving gifts, including champagne and cigars, from well-known Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer in return for political favors.

Bribery charges are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine. Fraud and breach of trust are punishable by a prison sentence of up to three years.

Israel’s longest-serving prime minister has denied any wrongdoing. He claims he is the victim of a politically orchestrated “witch hunt” by rivals and the media to remove him from office.

The trial began in May 2020 and was repeatedly delayed due to disputes between the defense and prosecution as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu is accused of using the legislation to try to circumvent his legal problems.

Amid the prime minister’s controversial plans to reform the justice system, Israel was mired in months of protests in the lead-up to the Oct. 7 attacks.

Critics said the proposed changes would politicize the judiciary and threaten its independence, encourage corruption and harm Israel’s economy.

Netanyahu defended the move and dismissed the protests. He stated that he wanted to restore an appropriate balance between the three branches of government.

Source : www.aljazeera.com

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