Jerusalem: Officials were considering moving the corruption trial of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the Jerusalem District Court to a different location due to the turmoil caused by having to secure the site for the premier, it was reported. Also Read - UN Chief Antonio Guterres Calls on Israel to Abandon Annexation Plans
Netanyahu was required to attend the opening hearing of his trial on Sunday, which involved a major security operation and the closure of roads in the area around the courthouse. Also Read - Pride And Love: Israel on Path to Have Record Number of Openly Gay MPs
The court was not able to hear any other cases at the time, The Times of Israel reported on Monday citing the Hebrew language Channel 12 as saying. Also Read - Palestine Accuses Netanyahu of Misleading World on Annexation Plan
In a meeting on Monday, the court officials reviewed the events of the previous day and in the coming weeks the administration, together with Jerusalem District Court President Aharon Farkash and the three judges presiding over the trial, will decided whether to relocate for the rest of the proceedings, the Channel 12 report said.
Netanyahu on Sunday became the first serving Israeli premier to stand trial.
The Prime Minister, who was sworn back into office as head of a rare national unity government last week, will be allowed to skip the next hearing, which will take place on July 19, with the judges saying he would not have to return to court until the evidence stage, said The Times of Israel.
Netanyahu, who denies wrongdoing, faces charges of fraud and breach of trust in all the cases, as well as bribery in one of them.
Before entering the courtroom on Sunday, he told the media that the cases against him were fabricated and part of an attempted “political coup” to oust him from power.
According to Israeli law, a Prime Minister charged with a crime is not required to resign.
Even if he is convicted, Netanyahu will not be required to resign unless and until any appeals are exhausted, reports the BBC.
Under the unity government deal with former political rival Benny Gantz, a new role of “alternate prime minister” was created, which means when the two men switch positions in 18 months’ time. Netanyahu will still occupy a prime ministerial office and stay on as Gantz’s deputy.