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Coronavirus delays Netanyahu corruption trial

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:30s - Published
Coronavirus delays Netanyahu corruption trial

Coronavirus delays Netanyahu corruption trial

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday proposed an "emergency government" to tackle the coronavirus crisis, after his corruption trial was delayed for two months due to the outbreak.

David Doyle reports.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday (March 15) proposed a six-month "emergency government" to tackle coronavirus, just as the epidemic delayed his corruption trial by two months.

The cases against Netanyahu, including charges - which he denies - of bribery, breach of trust, and fraud, had been due to start on Tuesday (March 17).

But Israel's Justice Ministry said the trial would now begin on May 24 due to "developments related to the spread of coronavirus".

Also this week, Israel's president was poised to pick a candidate to try and form a governing coalition.

That's after Israel's third election in a year, on March 2, proved once again to be inconclusive with neither Netanyahu's right-wing Likud or his main rival Benny Gantz's Blue and White securing enough seats for an outright majority.

On Sunday, Netanyahu made on offer to Gantz via Twitter to form a national emergency government.

That, Netanyahu said, would mean that unlike under the current caretaker government, Israel would be able to pass a budget and quote "make difficult decisions".

He also offered four-year unity administration, under which Netanyahu would be prime minister for the first two years before Gantz took over.

Gantz signaled he was open to a unity government, but cast doubts on Netanyahu's true intentions.

Were Netanyahu sincere, Gantz tweeted, then he would send a negotiating team to Blue and White rather than make proposals via social media.



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