(JTA) — A Jerusalem judge on Tuesday rejected a request by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a 45-day postponement of his trial on corruption charges.
Rivka Friedman-Feldman, who heads the three-judge panel that will preside over the trial, ruled that there are no grounds for delaying the hearing scheduled for March 17 at which the charges against Netanyahu will be presented, The Times of Israel reported. The court also ruled that Netanyahu must be present for the hearing.
Attorneys for Netanyahu had sought the postponement on Monday, claiming they still had not received all the case files from the prosecution. Haaretz has reported that the delay is due to a dispute over the digitization of the files.
Friedman-Feldman ruled that the the document issue isn’t sufficient cause for delay since the hearing is only for the purpose of reading out the charges and will not demand a response from the defense.
Netanyahu was indicted in November on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust — the first sitting Israeli prime minister to be indicted. He denies the accusations.