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May 25, 2020 9:36 am

Court Rules Netanyahu Exempt From Appearance at Next Hearing

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks as he chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, March 8, 2020. Photo: Oded Balilty/Pool via Reuters/File Photo. – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not have to attend the next session of his trial on July 19, the Jerusalem District Court ruled on Sunday.

The ruling was handed down by Jerusalem District Court judge Rivka Friedman-Feldman, the head of the three-judge panel overseeing Netanyahu’s trial, at the conclusion of the 50-minute arraignment hearing, during which Netanyahu pleaded innocent to the charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust.

Dates for subsequent hearings have yet to be determined, according to media reports.

Moments before entering the courtroom Netanyahu made a speech protesting his innocence and accusing law enforcement and the state prosecution of joining forces with the left-wing media to topple not only him in particular, but the country’s right-wing camp in general.

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“For more than a decade, the left has failed to accomplish this at the ballot box,” he said. “So in the last few years, they found a new trick.”

During the arraignment hearing, demonstrations on behalf of and against Netanyahu were held outside the courthouse.

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