Netanyahu at the opening of his trial
Netanyahu at the opening of his trialYonatan Sindel/FLASH90

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit responded on Sunday to the harsh criticism by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu against the State Prosecutor's Office and the police before the start of his trial in the Jerusalem District Court.

"The trial of four defendants, including the Prime Minister, in Cases 1000, 2000 and 4000 opened today in the Jerusalem District Court. The prosecution will conduct the procedure in this case as it does in any other case - professionally and matter-of-factly and only inside the court," Mandelblit said.

"Israel is a state of law. Therefore, the court is the place to hear the parties' arguments, to present the prosecution's evidence, and to carefully examine all the claims of the defense. The verdict of the accused will be determined there and only there," he added.

Mandelbit promised, "We will continue to act fearlessly, even in the face of the unfounded attempt to attribute non-discretionary considerations to the law enforcement authorities, an attempt which must be rejected. We will continue to act fairly and based on the principle that everyone is equal before the law. This is our commitment to the citizens of the State of Israel."

The comments come after Netanyahu, who stands accused of bribery in the Case 4000 probe and of fraud and breach of trust in the Case 1000 and “Case 2000” investigations, denounced the investigations and resulting trial as a legal witch-hunt aimed at deposing him, calling the process an attempted “coup”.

"I'm here with a straight back and my head held high," Netanyahu said at a press conference shortly before the opening of his trial, rejecting charges against him as “ludicrous”.

"When you're trying to take down a strong Prime Minister from the right, everything is possible," he added.

"I ask for everything to be broadcast live and uncensored so that the public will know," he said.