Netanyahu’s Trial on Sunday: Everything You Need to Know

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will finally stand trial for suspected bribery, fraud and breach of trust in a Jerusalem courtroom on May 24.

The opening of the premier’s trial follows years of investigations, deliberations and legal proceedings that eventually took place during the course of three election campaigns, capped by a last-minute delay due to the coronavirus crisis. Here is everything you need to know about the case:

How did we get here? The long road to Netanyahu’s trial

In February 2019, during the run-up to the first of three national elections in the space of a year, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit announced his intent to indict Netanyahu for alleged crimes committed while serving as prime minister. His decision followed the recommendation of two police reports issued in 2018, which stated sufficient evidence existed to indict the premier in three affairs known as Case 1000, Case 2000 and Case 4000 – cases that were under investigation for more than three years.

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But the actual indictments were a long time coming. First, Netanyahu’s pre-indictment hearings were postponed because of two elections – first in April 2019 and then, after Netanyahu and Kahol Lavan head Benny Gantz both failed to form a governing coalition, again in September.

In October, following the second election, the hearings were held. Over four days, Mendelblit considered – and ultimately rejected – the arguments of Netanyahu’s lawyers, who did their best to dissuade prosecutors from charging him.

The following month, on November 21, Netanyahu was formally charged, making him the first sitting Israeli prime minister to be criminally indicted.