Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attorneys on Monday submitted a request for a 45-day postponement of the reading of the indictments against their client, which will open his trial and is currently scheduled for next week.
The request was first filed on Sunday with the prosecutor’s office, but after no reply had been received, the same request was filed with the district court.
The defense claims that it is yet to receive all the investigation materials against Netanyahu.
The PM is charged with bribery in Case 4,000, and fraud and breach of trust in Cases 1,000 and 2,000.
The prosecutor’s response could come later on Monday, and it is highly unlikely they would agree to such a lengthy postponement, if at all. The hearing of the indictments is scheduled for Tuesday, March 17, at 3 PM (Yes, St. Patrick’s Day), in Jerusalem District Court. Prime Minister Netanyahu will have to be present at the hearing.
The three-judge panel will be headed by Judge Rivka Friedman-Feldman, with judges Moshe Bar-Am and Oded Shaham.
Judge Friedman-Feldman sat on the panel of judges that convicted former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for fraudulent acceptance of a gift and breach of trust. The conviction followed the second round of Olmert’s trial, and judge Friedman-Feldman was criticized at the time for writing that she would have convicted Olmert in the first round, unlike the rest of the panel which voted to acquit.
Judge Shaham, an expert on antitrust cases, was on the 2010 panel that tried Minister Tzachi Hanegbi on election-related bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Shaham voted to convict, but the panel cleared Hanegbi of most of the charges against him, and only found him guilty of perjury.