Middle East/North Africa

Netanyahu trial set to begin March 17

Israel's Judiciary Ministry announced Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's court case will start March 17.

Netanyahu is the first sitting Israeli prime minister to be charged with a crime. The 70-year-old Likud party leader has been charged with bribery, breach of trust and fraud. He will stand trial before a three-judge panel.

The start of the trial will come two weeks after Israel's third election in a year happens on March 2, after Netanyahu and his political opponents all failed to win a majority of the vote in April and September, Reuters reports.

The Israeli lawmaker has been at the helm of the country for the past decade making him the longest-serving leader in the country's history. Between all three charges, he could face up to 16 years in prison if convicted.

Netanyahu has denied all wrongdoing. 

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