Former Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein interviewed by The Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief Yaakov Katz at the Maariv Leaders Conference.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Former attorney-general Yehuda Weinstein rejected accusations that his successor, Avichai Mandelblit, is dragging out the corruption probes against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In his comments at the Maariv Conference in Jerusalem on Monday, Weinstein said it was possible that in some cases Mandelblit was delaying his final decision in order to strengthen the charges which had holes.
He admitted that he and his staff may have acted similarly with the multiple corruption cases against Avigdor Liberman in 2013, explaining that what some saw as foot-dragging was merely being extra cautious with complex cases that carried outsized consequences.
Along the same lines, he said, “The law that applies to probing the prime minister and a regular citizen are the same: whether there is a reasonable chance for a conviction… Everyone is equal before the law.”
However, he added that the fact that the law puts the attorney-general personally in charge of the decision shows that there is an expectation that law enforcement will take the question of ensuring it will obtain a conviction extra seriously.
Weinstein added that making sure any case against a prime minister would be a win is also crucial as special constitutional issues and potential new elections come into play.
Regarding the Jewish Nation-State Law, he had no prediction of how the High Court of Justice will rule regarding its constitutionality, but said that it would have been better had the law not been passed.
Weinstein said that the Declaration of Independence struck the perfect balance between Israel’s Jewish and democratic character traits, and that he would not have changed a single letter in it.
“If you have something good, you should not make it worse,” he said.
The former attorney-general did not want to express a major opinion about the fate of Israel Bar Association president Efi Naveh, currently under criminal investigation, without knowing all of the facts.