From Left to Right: Ehud Olmert, Avichai Mandelblit, Ehud Barak.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Former prime ministers Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak both sharply criticized Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit on Wednesday.
Olmert attacked Mandelblit’s handling of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s criminal investigations in a speech to the Israeli Association of Accountants in Eilat.
“I must say that I am not sure he has the spine and the determination necessary to do his job,” Olmert said. “I don’t want to say more than that. But in my opinion, I have not received an impression that he has the ability to make the decisions he has to make.”
Olmert said his impression was “not based on rumors,” but he could not say more, because the investigations were ongoing.The Jerusalem Post
has reported that Mandelblit does intend to indict Netanyahu at the beginning of 2019.
Barak criticized a decision by Mandelblit to permit Netanyahu to receive donations to his legal defense from international millionaires Spencer Partridge and Nathan Milikowsky, even though they have testified in the cases as witnesses. Milikowsky is Netanyahu’s cousin.
“There might be logic in permitting Netanyahu, who has many wealthy friends, to accept contributions for his legal defense,” Barak wrote on Twitter. “But from whom? From those suspected of bribing him? The conscience and spine of the attorney-general are collapsing.”
Barak called on State Comptroller Joseph Shapira to intervene to stop the contributions.
Despite Barak’s allegations, Partridge and Milikowsky are not accused of bribing Netanyahu.
“In view of the details received regarding the nature of the relations between the prime minister and Mr. Milikowsky and Mr. Partridge, and given all the relevant circumstances, the attorney general and the state prosecutor decided that it cannot be said that the gift is being given to the prime minister ‘because he is a public servant,’” Mandelblit ruled.
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