The Holyland trial is set to open Monday afternoon in the Tel Aviv District Court with an arraignment hearing, as Judge David Rosen is scheduled to formally read the criminal charges against 16 defendants, among them former prime minister Ehud Olmert.
During arraignments, lawyers for the defense are expected to respond to each of the charges made by the prosecution in the indictment and enter a plea. However, Monday's hearing is likely to be largely technical and procedural, with attorneys for the defendants expected to argue that they are not yet ready to respond in detail to the charges given the enormous amount of evidence. It is also likely that the defense lawyers will say they have not yet received all of the documents and files of evidence they require.
The 112-page indictment, filed in the Tel Aviv District Court, charges that Holyland real estate developers paid tens of millions of shekels to public employees and elected officials to advance the projects by substantially shortening planning times, smoothing over planning objections, re-zoning land, giving tax breaks and increasing the permitted amount of construction.
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