AG 'under attack from all directions' for handling of Netanyahu investigation

Protesters demanding Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sara Netanyahu have been huddling near his Petah Tikva home for nearly a year.

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November 5, 2017 18:19
1 minute read.
Avichai Mandelblit

Avichai Mandelblit and Netanyahu. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
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A recording has been leaked in which Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit tells a closed conference of the prosecution that he is under massive attack for his handling of the investigations relating to the Netanyahu family.

“I am under attack from all directions with asymmetric methods and with methods which are not part of the rules of the game of democracy” the recording obtained Sunday by Army Radio said, though Mandelblit made the statements on Thursday.

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The attorney general said, “I cannot conduct myself as they do…on one hand, I am obligated by the laws of war, while on the other hand, the other side is not,” meaning politicians from both the Left and Right are smearing him publicly while, due to his office, he cannot publicly return fire.

He also is restrained from sharing details about his investigations before he reaches any decisions, which puts him in an awkward position, while both sides slam him for what they assume he will decide.

Protesters demanding he indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sara Netanyahu have been huddling near his Petah Tikva home for nearly a year.

At the same time, the Netanyahus and their allies have been raising their levels of attacks on the prosecution, the police and law enforcement generally as potentially damning evidence has continued to leak into the public domain.

Mandelblit also doubled down in his opposition to two bills under consideration by the government: one to block a sitting prime minister from being investigated and one to block the police from expressing their opinion about whether a suspect should be indicted.

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Zionist Union MK Revital Suade responded to Mandelblit’s leaked statement saying, “this is a plea of desperation from the attorney-general – the campaign of delegitimization is working.”

“In a systematic process in the name of governability, they are inflicting a mortal wound on the legal establishment and the strength of the rule of law in the State of Israel – and all of this for political survival,” she said.

She slammed the current series of proposed bills which could hamstring law enforcement efforts against public corruption, noting, “the rare statement must light a warning light.”

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee Chairman Nissan Slomiansky had not responded to Mandelblit’s statement by press time.

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