Israel PM seeks immunity, buying time until after vote


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, Israel, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. (Abir Sultan /Pool photo via AP)

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JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will ask parliament to grant him immunity from corruption charges, a step that is expected to delay his trial for months.

The step Wednesday most likely puts the trial on hold until after elections in March, when he hopes to win a majority coalition that will shield him from prosecution.

The announcement essentially turns the upcoming election campaign into a referendum on whether Netanyahu should be granted immunity and remain in office or step down to stand trial.

A recent poll indicated that a majority of Israelis oppose giving him immunity.

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