Israeli prosecutors accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of treating favours as “currency” on Monday on the opening of a corruption trial which, together with an inconclusive election, has clouded his prospects of remaining in workplace.

Netanyahu, who has pleaded not responsible to prices of bribery, breach of belief and fraud, got here to Jerusalem District Court in a darkish go well with and black protecting masks, conferring quietly with attorneys as his supporters and critics held raucous demonstrations exterior.

“The relationship between Netanyahu and the defendants became currency, something that could be traded,” prosecutor Liat Ben-Ari mentioned in presenting so-called Case 4000, regarding the premier’s alleged ties to the house owners of an Israeli news-site.

“This currency could distort a public servant’s judgment.”

Netanyahu left earlier than the primary prosecution witness testified within the first such trial of a sitting Israeli prime minister. He has described himself because the sufferer of a politically motivated witch-hunt.

Meanwhile, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin started consulting with occasion heads on who would possibly kind the following coalition authorities – a toss-up after the March 23 election, the fourth in two years, gave neither Netanyahu nor his rivals a transparent mandate.

Rivlin instructed delegates from Netanyahu’s conservative Likud occasion that moral concerns may think about his choice, apparently alluding to Netanyahu’s trial.

“I do not see a way in which a government can be established,” Rivlin instructed representatives of centrist Yesh Atid, the most important opposition occasion, which hopes to unseat Netanyahu.

“The people of Israel should be very concerned that we may be dragged into a fifth election.”

At Jerusalem District Court, prosecuters sought to determine that Netanyahu granted regulatory favors to Israel’s main telecommunications firm, Bezeq Telecom Israel BEZQ.TA, in return for extra optimistic protection of him and his spouse Sara on an organization information web site referred to as Walla.

Former Walla CEO Ilan Yeshua testified that he had been “barraged” by emailed and textual content message calls for, from each the Walla house owners and Netanyahu confidants, to enhance reporting on the prime minister whereas enjoying down or attacking his political rivals.

“How much can you lie?” Iris Elovitch, spouse of Walla’s proprietor on the time and a co-defendant in Case 4000, shouted at Yeshua.

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