Netanyahu attorneys request postponement of corruption trial

Benjamin Netanyahu, seen on Nov. 12, 2019, is the first sitting Israeli prime minister to be indicted. Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Attorneys for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu filed a formal request on Monday asking to postpone the opening of his corruption trial for 45 days.

The trial is set to begin on March 17; Netanyahu is required to attend the first hearing.

His attorneys said in the request made in Jerusalem District Court that they had not yet received all of the investigative material from the state prosecution, and that they need the extra time to assess them, the Kan public broadcaster reported. They also have requested that the material be scanned and digitized.

Netanyahu was indicted in November in three corruption cases against him, marking the first time that a sitting Israeli prime minister was indicted. Netanyahu has denied the charges, which include bribery and breach of public trust, and called the investigations against him a “witch hunt.” A three-judge panel of the Jerusalem District Court will hear the case.