Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit formally backed Knesset Legal Adviser Eyal Yinon on Wednesday, in a legal brief to the High Court of Justice, regarding Yinon’s handling of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s immunity request.Yinon issued a legal opinion on January 5 that permitted a 61-MK majority to establish an ad hoc committee to rule on Netanyahu’s request for immunity from bribery charges he is facing. Such an ad hoc committee was necessary in order to avoid a several-month freeze of the case against Netanyahu, since the Knesset is not in session, and without such a committee established, the trial against the prime minister would be put on hold.Netanyahu and the Likud petitioned the High Court to declare Yinon unfit to rule on the immunity issue, claiming that he had a conflict of interest.Yinon’s wife, Amit Merari, was one of 25 lawyers involved in making recommendations to Mandelblit about whether to indict Netanyahu for bribery.The High Court has not yet stepped in – even as Yinon made his opinion public on Sunday – which allowed the Knesset to move forward with forming an ad hoc committee to address the immunity issue.Since, in theory, the High Court could still step in, Mandelblit made it clear that he does not view Yinon as having a conflict of interest. Furthermore, he backed Yinon’s view that the issue of whether a committee could be established to rule on immunity while the Knesset is out of session was a straightforward, procedural law ruling at the core of Yinon’s duties.In other words, Mandelblit does not view the question as a substantive legal issue which might implicate conflict of interest principles. In addition, Mandelblit reiterated that Merari did not make the decision to indict Netanyahu, and was only one of a very large number of lawyers involved. Ironically, reports regarding Merari’s role were that she helped water down the charges against Netanyahu in Cases 1000 and 2000, from bribery to mere breach of trust. It was also reported that when Mandelblit included her in the deliberations, it was with the strategy that she would help him water down some of the charges.It is unclear when the High Court will rule. In the meantime, the Knesset ad hoc committee is moving forward. On Wednesday, Yinon’s office filed a legal brief echoing the same themes as Mandelblit. Yinon went into more detail, noting that the Likud had known all along that he was married to Merari, and it objected only when he issued his opinion on the immunity issue in a direction with which it disagreed. According to Yinon, this proved that the Likud objection was based solely on politics, not the law.