Netanyahu makes rare appearance at his corruption trial

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Former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a rare appearance at his corruption trial on Tuesday but an expected courtroom encounter with an ex-aide who has turned state’s witness never happened as judges postponed his testimony.

Netanyahu, who served as prime minister for 12 consecutive years but lost power in June and is now the opposition leader, has pleaded not guilty to charges of bribery, breach of trust and fraud in cases that centre on alleged regulatory favours he awarded to media tycoons in return for positive press coverage and illicit receipt of gifts, including cigars and champagne.

He is not required to attend all the hearings in his trial, which began last year, and had not previously been seen in the court since April. The 72-year-old made no comment to reporters as he arrived at the Jerusalem courthouse in a motorcade.

Live Israeli TV broadcasts from outside the courtroom, a noisy street demonstration by pro-Netanyahu supporters and a phalanx of bodyguards added to a sense of drama.

via Reuters

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