On Sunday Israel’s high court started a two-day hearing into petitions against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forming a government while under indictment over corruption charges, with a ruling expected to be announced by Thursday, reported AP.
“Today we shall hear arguments on the question of bestowing the duty of forming a government on a Knesset member against whom an indictment has been filed… Tomorrow there will be a hearing on the second issue, regarding the coalition agreement,” announced Chief Justice Esther Hayut as she opened proceedings, broadcast live, at the head of a panel of 11 judges.
Netanyahu was indicted in January on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust – allegations he has emphatically denied, calling all three cases against him a political witch-hunt.
If convicted in the trial due to start on May 24, Netanyahu could face up to 10 years in prison on bribery charges, with a maximum three-year term possible for fraud and breach of trust.
The Supreme Court will also hear petitions challenging a coalition deal between Likud party’s Benjamin Netanyahu and the current speaker of the Knesset, Blue and White party chief Benny Gantz.