Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit.
(photo credit: EMIL SALMAN/HAARETZ/MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit gave a speech on Monday afternoon in which he explained that the election result will not impact whether or not to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Madelblit said that he respects the right of voters to chose their own prime minister and that a past Supreme Court decision clearly stated that the voting results do not impact criminal law decisions.
This comes after the attorney-general on Sunday threatened to cancel Netanyahu's pre-indictment hearing if his lawyers do not schedule it soon.
On February 28, Mandelblit announced his intent to indict Netanyahu for bribery subject to that hearing.
According to Mandelblit, he and Netanyahu’s lawyers reached a deal on March 11, he would delay release of the case file regarding the prime minister until after the elections, on condition that it would not delay the case’s progress.
To ensure that progress, he set July 10 as the latest date by which to start Netanyahu’s pre-indictment hearings.
Since the election, Netanyahu’s lawyers have refused to pick up the case file from the state prosecution, saying they would not do so until the question of their fee is resolved.
Netanyahu's lawyers are in an ongoing dispute with a State Comptroller committee about whether Netanyahu’s cousin, tycoon Natan Milikovsky, can pay his legal bills in the public corruption cases.
Netanyahu’s lawyers have said that since they have been unable to pick up the case file without their attorneys’ fees issues resolved, Mandelblit will need to postpone the July 10 hearing date by several months so that they have more time to prepare.
In his letter on Sunday, Mandelblit made it clear that their attorneys’ fees was an internal issue between them and Netanyahu, and does not concern the state prosecution.
He added that if Netanyahu’s lawyers did not set a pre-indictment hearing with him by May 10, he would cancel the hearing process and move forward speedily to a final decision – in which he is expected to stick to his guns to indict the prime minister for bribery.