JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial is set to begin on March 17, just two weeks after the national elections.
An Israeli court announced the trial date on Tuesday. The court’s brief statement said Netanyahu is expected to attend the hearing. He will be the first sitting prime minister in Israel’s history to appear before the court.
Netanyahu is charged with breach of trust, bribery, and fraud in connection to three cases. Netanyahu is accused of having quid pro quo relationships with leaders of powerful media organizations in Israel to exchange positive media coverage with regulatory favors.
He is also accused of accepting illicit gifts from billionaire friends.
Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit indicted Netanyahu on January 28 after a more than two-year-long investigation.
After being formally charged, Netanyahu submitted an immunity from prosecution request to the Knesset.
However, the prime minister withdrew his request while he was in Washington for the unveiling of President Donald Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.
Netanyahu maintains his innocence and says he is the victim of a witch-hunt.