Written by Staff Writer, CNN
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister, will stand trial two weeks after Israeli elections on March 3. A lengthy statement released Friday by the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court made clear the period of alleged corruption that the prime minister is charged with and, therefore, calls for a vote on March 9.
One of the most significant points in the decision is the date of the legal proceedings. The written statement addressed last November's indictment against Netanyahu by the attorney general for allegedly accepting bribes, embezzlement and breach of trust. The ruling states that Netanyahu is to stand trial on March 4, with the defendants' attorney to give a written address on March 9.
According to the prosecution, Netanyahu received gifts worth more than $1 million between 2005 and 2015 from wealthy donors. It was alleged the gifts came from both foreign nationals and within Israel, with the investigation focusing on Netanyahus' spouses.
However, it is state prosecutors who may have significantly more leverage in the court process. Netanyahu is from a prominent political family and is facing three separate indictments. His twin sons Yair and Moshe are also under investigation.
READ: Netanyahu appears to defy prosecutors over graft charges
The multiple charges could ultimately come as a blow to the Prime Minister during an election campaign amid public anger over perceived corruption.
A return to the premiership by Netanyahu would be particularly risky due to the lengthy investigations into him and his family. His cousin and close adviser, David Sharan, was arrested last month for allegedly taking illegal gifts from businessmen.
Netanyahu responded to the publication of the decision by paying tribute to the efforts of the attorney general and the State Prosecutor's Office.
The Prime Minister then hinted at his plans to stay in office. "As I have said from the beginning, one must await the right moment to take the next steps and I am confident they will come in time. I look forward to the results of the upcoming elections," he said in a statement.