Netanyahu fate at stake as coalition deal challenged in top court

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Israel’s top court on Monday heard challenges to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bid to secure a governing coalition, with opposition figures arguing a deal on a new unity administration would unlawfully shield him in a corruption trial.

The Supreme Court’s 11-justice panel convened for a second day after hearing separate petitions on Sunday against Netanyahu’s authority to form a government given his indictment on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Netanyahu’s trial is due to open on May 24. He has denied any wrongdoing and accused political rivals of a “witch-hunt”.

The coalition deal also grants Netanyahu influence over important judicial appointments, which critics argue gives the premier undue sway over the outcome of his own proceedings.

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