Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust are all set to begin on Sunday.
Last year, in November, PM Netanyahu was formally charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust, making him the first Israeli premier to be indicted while in office and sending Israel’s already stalemated political system into further disarray.
In all three cases, Netanyahu has been accused of fraud and abuse of trust, and in addition in Case 4,000, he is alleged to have committed bribery, the most serious accusation that puts his position in question.
Netanyahu was sworn back into office as head of a rare national unity government, is expected to attend the opening session of the trial, which is being held at Jerusalem District Court.
In Februray, Netanyahu was expected to be questioned over two separate corruption allegations, after the Prosecutor General’s Office asked the police to carry out an investigation.
PM Netanyahu was in the middle of a campaign event in Ashkelon at the time and was forced to evacuate to a bomb shelter along with the dozens of supporters in the room.
Netanyahu was first elected as chairman of the Likud in 1993, serving in the opposition until 1996. He resigned from politics after being defeated in a general election in 1999, returning to lead the party in 2005. Since then he has consolidated his position in Likud, dividing and weakening his opponents and facing very few challenges over the years.
Meanwhile, a rally in support of Netanyahu was scheduled to take place Sunday outside the court, with Likud Ministers Amir Ohana and Miri Regev declaring they would accompany the premier to his trial, reports The Times of Israel.