Attorney-general’s leaked exchange on Netanyahu probes: I’m under attack from all directions

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit has seen protesters gather outside his house for close to a year now, demanding that he indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and wife Sara.

November 6, 2017 06:06
2 minute read.
PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU consults with Avichai Mandelblit.

PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU consults with Avichai Mandelblit.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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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 that are not part of the rules of the game of democracy” the recording obtained Sunday by Army Radio said. Mandelblit made the statements on Thursday.

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 verbally return fire.

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

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

At the same time, the Netanyahus and their allies have been raising the levels of their attacks on the prosecution, 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.

Zionist Union MK Revital Swid responded to Mandelblit’s leaked statement by 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.
Benjamin Netanyahu dismissive of corruption allegations on January 2, 2017

Swid slammed the current series of proposed bills which could hamstring law enforcement in its 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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