The Israeli Justice Ministry has postponed the beginning of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial, Reuters reported, citing local media. The trial initially set to open on 17 March will begin on 24 May "due to developments related to the spread of the coronavirus".
The politician was scheduled to appear in a Jerusalem district court on Tuesday to face charges of fraud, breach of trust, and accepting bribes. Prosecutors accuse him of taking expensive gifts from billionaires and offering mutually favourable collaboration with the media. Netanyahu, however, has repeatedly denied the accusations, calling them a witch hunt, staged by the media and his political opponents.
If the Prime Minister is found guilty of bribery, he will face a 10-year prison term, while the breach of trust conviction threatens him with 3 years in jail.
In recent weeks Israel has imposed strict measures against the coronavirus, asking tourists to leave the country and ordering all Israeli travellers returning home to quarantine themselves for 14 days.