Judges delayed the testimony after the former prime minister’s lawyers argued they were not ready to respond to the testimony from his former spin doctor, star witness Nir Hefetz.

After a half-hour recess to consider the defence motion, judges postponed the trial until November 22.
After a half-hour recess to consider the defence motion, judges postponed the trial until November 22. (Jack Guez / AFP)

Israeli judges have granted a defence request to postpone a highly anticipated testimony from Benjamin Netanyahu's former spin doctor.

The former prime minister, now opposition leader in parliament after he was ousted by a broad coalition of rivals in June, arrived at the Jerusalem court house on Tuesday.

The testimony of his former spokesman Nir Hefetz had been expected to shed light on the ex-premier's dealings with the Bezeq telecommunications group.

Netanyahu's lawyers argued they were unprepared to respond to Hefetz's testimony following recent press revelations about new evidence he might share.

The prosecution said it regretted the leaks about Hefetz's expected testimony but urged the session to go ahead.

After a half-hour recess to consider the defence motion, judges postponed the trial until November 22.

Roughly 50 flag and placard waving Netanyahu supporters had gathered outside the courtroom to cheer the ex-premier ahead of his departure.

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Regulatory benefits

Netanyahu has been charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate indictments.

The charges collectively accuse him of accepting improper gifts and illegally trading regulatory favour with media moguls in exchange for positive coverage.

In the Bezeq case, considered the most serious, Netanyahu is accused of offering regulatory benefits that could have been worth millions to the company.

In return, the former PM would receive politically advantageous coverage on the group's Walla news site.

Netanyahu was Israel's longest serving prime minister, including a 1996-1999 term and a record 12-year tenure from 2009 to 2021.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies