23 May 2019
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received on Wednesday a three-month delay, until October, for a hearing to argue against the attorney-general’s plan to indict him on graft charges.
Netanyahu’s attorneys had requested a postponement until May 2020 to give them more time to examine the evidence in three corruption cases, in which he denies wrongdoing, Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit’s office said.
In a letter to one of Netanyahu’s lawyers that was released to the media, Mandelblit said he was shifting the dates for the hearing from July to Oct. 2-3. He said a longer delay to a year from now would have “harmed the vital public interest in deciding as soon as possible” whether to issue an indictment.
In office for the past decade, Netanyahu won a fifth term in April despite an announcement by Mandelblit in February that he intended to charge him with fraud and bribery, pending a hearing with the attorney-general.
Set to become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister in July, the right-wing leader has called the allegations a political witch-hunt and said he has no intention of resigning if charged, with a renewed public mandate to govern.
By Jeffrey Heller, Reuters, 22 May 2019
Read more at Reuters
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