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Alleged Corruption: Netanyahu’s trial begins March 17

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The first hearing of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial has been set for March 17, a spokeswoman for the Jerusalem District Court said on Tuesday.

Israel’s attorney general filed the indictment against Netanyahu on January 28.

Mr Netanyahu is charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three corruption cases, after allegedly having offered political favours in return for positive press coverage and helped wealthy business contacts in return for gifts.

It is the first time in Israel’s history that a sitting prime minister has been indicted.

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Mr Netanyahu is not required to resign as prime minister when indicted.

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According to opinion polls, the indictment so far has not greatly changed voting patterns ahead of the March 2 parliamentary election, an unprecedented third in Israel in less than a year.

There is still an apparent stalemate between a bloc of right-wing and religious parties led by Netanyahu and a bloc of centrist, left-wing and Arab parties.

dpa/NAN

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