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Netanyahu bribery trial resumes amid protests, judge delays witness phase until January

Netanyahu bribery trial resumes amid protests, judge delays witness phase until January

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bribery trial resumed on Sunday. However, the PM was not in attendance at the Jerusalem District Court hearing. His attorney Yossi Segev asked the court to delay proceedings because of Covid-19. “It's hard to tell if a masked witness is telling the truth,” he said. 

The PM Judge Rivkah Friedman Feldman decided the evidence phase of the trial will begin next January, with testimony to be given three times a week. 

Netanyahu was indicted last November for allegedly taking gifts from billionaires in return for political favors, and for making deals with media owners for less critical coverage. He denies the charges.

The process comes amid repeated protests against the Israeli leader as well as government handling of the Covid-19 crisis. Police used water cannon against demonstrators gathered outside Netanyahu’s home on Saturday and arrested two people. In Tel Aviv, arrests were also made when protesters clashed with police, who deployed tear gas to disperse the crowds.