Tel Aviv, MINA – An Israeli court on Wednesday reject Benjamin Netanyahu’s request to be excused from attending the start of his impending corruption trial on Sunday this week.
The court said Netanyahu was obliged to attend, Quds Press reported.
The court also refused a request to allow the presence of another defense attorney for each defendant in this case which involved several defendants.
The court mentioned the restrictions imposed by government emergency regulations to reduce the coronavirus, so the court only allowed one member of the defense team for each defendant to appear in the courtroom.
Earlier, Netanyahu asked the court to release him from the summons to attend the trial on May 24. He considered the trial as a formality, and bringing his bodyguards would be a waste of public money and would violate the rules that were put in place to keep the coronavirus from spreading.
The panel of judges reject Netanyahu’s claim that his presence was not required at this stage. It stated, “the presence of the applicant in the trial was to confirm that he had read the indictment and understood its contents.”
The court’s ruling on Wednesday, published by the justice ministry, was unequivocal. “We reject the request of the petitioner to be absent from the reading (of the charges),” it said.
After a court ruling forced Netanyahu to appear in court, Israel Channel 12 quoted Netanyahu’s close colleague as saying he would not be absent from the start of the trial. (T/R6/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)