Netanyahu Asks to Skip First Session of His Corruption Trial, Slated for Sunday

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu filed on Monday a request to not to appear before the Jerusalem District Court for the first session of his trial on Sunday, where the charges against him will be formally presented. The prosecution would exmaine the request before filing it with the court.

– Bibi swears in his colossal coalition and readies for a courtroom showdown

Bibi swears in his colossal coalition and readies for a courtroom showdown Haaretz

Netanyahu, charged with bribery and fraud and breach of trust in three corruption cases, claimed in his request Monday that having to show up at court for the first hearing – which he claims is merely a technicality – would “cost the public a fortune.”

>> Netanyahu's trial: Everything you need to know

The trial was initially scheduled to open on March 17, but was delayed after former Justice Minister Amir Ohana froze the courts as part of the coronavirus emergency regulations.

Later that month, Minister Yariv Levin, also from Netanyahu’s Likud party, amended emergency orders so that only defendants in custody must show up to criminal proceedings via video conference.

After forming a government with Netanyahu, Benny Gantz's party will walk back on its main election promise and shelf three pieces of legislation meant to block Netanyahu from serving as prime minister. The first bill would have prevented a criminally indicted lawmaker from forming a government, the second would have barred a criminally indicted prime minister from serving on, and the third would cap any prime minister’s tenure at two terms.

In January, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit indicted Netanyahu with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in three cases.