Netanyahu blasted the trial as a political attempt to bring down a strong, right-wing prime minister through the court system.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
In a fiery speech within the halls of the Jerusalem District Court itself on Sunday afternoon, only moments before entering the courtroom at the opening of his trial in three cases of corruption, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu let loose against the trial and those behind it, blasting it as a political attempt to eject a right-wing leader through judicial means.
“What is happening today is an attempt to thwart the will of the people, an attempt to overthrow me and the right-wing camp,” he said.
Netanyahu said the trial is taking place because he refused to knuckle under to left-wing demands. “I’m not a poodle, so I have to be taken down by any means. Members of the Attorney General’s office invented a case for me. The investigations are corrupt and invented from the first moment,” he said.
Netanyahu, who had previously asked that the entire trial be televised, repeated his demand. “Instead of leaks, I offer a simple solution – that everything will be broadcast, without editing and without smears.”
He also demanded that the summaries of the investigations be brought to light. In Nov. 2019, details of the Netanyahu investigation emerged that pointed to improprieties by the police, who were accused of using controversial methods to turn former Netanyahu confidantes into state witnesses.
A number of senior Likud party members joined Netanyahu at court to lend support. They stood behind him as he gave his press statement.
Crowds of protesters, both for and against the prime minister, gathered outside the court.
Netanyahu is accused of fraud and breach of trust in three cases and bribery in one. The case may take three years to work its way through the courts.