Netanyahu pleads not guilty to corruption charges as trial resumes

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pleaded not guilty on Monday to corruption charges at the resumption of his trial some six weeks before Israeli voters again pass judgment on his leadership.

“I confirm the written answer submitted in my name,” Netanyahu said, standing before a three-judge panel in a heavily-guarded Jerusalem District Court.

He was referring to a document his lawyers gave the court last month in which they argued he was not guilty of charges of bribery, breach of trust and fraud.

Netanyahu was indicted in 2019 in long-running cases involving gifts from millionaire friends and for allegedly seeking regulatory favours for media tycoons in return for favourable coverage.

He last came to court in May at the start of a trial subsequently delayed by coronavirus lockdowns. Netanyahu has called his prosecution a political witch hunt.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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