Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu צילום: Marc Israel Sellem/POOL

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a statement to the media Monday afternoon following the first day of the evidence phase of his trial.

"As someone who advocates the rule of law, I came to court today to hear the plaintiff," Netanyahu said. "On the other hand, at my hearing, when my attorneys presented the defense in my favor, the same plaintiff was not even present. There is nothing else needed to prove that the hearing in my case was a show, a fixed game."

Netanyahu added: "I want to hope that the trial will be conducted differently, but I have no expectations from the State Attorney's Office. I heard words today about the improper use of governmental power. The entire proceeding against me was an improper use of the power of the prosecution in the hands of the State Attorney's Office. They violated not just a law, but a Basic Law that requires permission from the attorney general to open an investigation. And why did they do it? Because they are on a witch-hunt. They did not investigate or look for an offense, they were looking for a person - me."

"They are trying to overthrow a strong prime minister from the right. It is no coincidence that the State Attorney's Office submitted the letter of suspicion only a month before the first date election and it is no coincidence that it filed the indictment before the date of the third election," he added.