Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's pretrial hearing began behind closed doors at Israel's justice ministry in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday. Protesters were seen outside the building as members of Netanyahu's defence team arrived.

Netanyahu who was absent at the hearing could face charges of fraud and breach of trust in three separate corruption cases as well as bribery in one of them.

He rejected the accusations saying he was the victim of a 'witch-hunt' organised by the media and leftist political groups to push him out of office. The hearing comes two weeks after Netanyahu failed to win an outright majority in a snap general election.

The pretrial hearing is set to last for four days, during which Netanyahu's lawyers will try to persuade prosecutors not to bring criminal charges against him.

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Xinhua 19 Nov 2019 10:20 CET

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