Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, 70, who has been charged with one count of bribery and three counts of fraud and breach of trust in three long-running corruption cases appeared before a Jerusalem court Sunday to hear the criminal charges leveled against him.
The cases against him are known as Case 1000, Case 2000 and Case 4000. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison for bribery and a maximum 3-year-term for each count of fraud and breach of trust, On his arrival in the Court he claimed that he was the victim of a deep state-type conspiracy by media, police, prosecutors and judges. He is the first sitting prime minister to be charged with a crime and to appear as a defendant in court.
"The objective is to depose a strong, right-wing prime minister, and thus remove the nationalist camp from the leadership of the country for many years," he said. He and lawyers and judges wore mask and the three-judge panel sitting behind a glass divider. Netanyahu’s appearance in court comes a week after Israel’s new unity government was sworn in. There will be more than 300 prosecution witnesses of which perhaps the most important are three people who used to work with Netanyahu. It’s expected that a decision will be made after years. An appel to the Supreme Court will be also be possible.