Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s lawyers have filed a motion to dismiss the indictment against him.
They told the Jerusalem District Court that law enforcement has “invented” the corruption charges.
The 200-page motion argued that police investigators targeted Netanyahu and used illegitimate means to obtain evidence, thus disqualifying the criminal charges, and asked the court to disregard the case.
Netanyahu has been facing charges in three corruption cases, involving bribery and breach of trust.
He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and described the allegations a witch hunt by a “hostile media” against him and his family and an attempt by left-wing officials to influence the outcome of the elections.
Although the prospects for accepting the request seem almost impossible, it helps to delay the court session.
The premier and his lawyers aim to seize the next opportunities to renew a request for parliamentary immunity. He had earlier submitted this request but withdrew it in January.
Observers link between the request and Netanyahu’s plan to dissolve the Knesset and carry out early elections, hoping he will return with a stronger right-wing coalition that would enable him to enact laws that would cancel or postpone his trial.
On Monday, Netanyahu said his Likud party will vote against a bill to dissolve Knesset, stressing its commitment to “unity” to address the coronavirus pandemic and to reach further normalization deals with Arab states.
“The opposition will try on Wednesday to drag Israel to unnecessary elections. Likud will vote against elections and in favor of unity,” he said during a faction meeting.
“The citizens of Israel need a government that acts not for elections, not for politics, but rather for them.”
These comments came in light of what appears to be a “severe crisis” within the Israeli government between the Likud and Benny Gantz’s Blue and White Party.
Last week, opposition leader Yair Lapid said he will lead a proposal on Wednesday to dissolve the Knesset and call for new elections.
“The bill will come to a vote. It is time for elections,” he said at the opening of his Yesh Atid-Telem party faction meeting at the Knesset.
At least two Blue and White ministers affirmed they would support the bill. Other MPs are determined to propose bills aimed at embarrassing Netanyahu, such as a law to ensure equality for Arab citizens.