Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit.
(photo credit: EMIL SALMAN/HAARETZ/MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit's decision to be interviewed by Hadashot News on Saturday night, claiming that Mandelblit's choice was "unprecedented in the history of Israeli justice."
Mandelblit gave a rare on-record interview during which he told Channel 12 News that the election will not cause a delay in his decision on Netanyahu’s corruption cases. Although Mandelblit did not and has not committed to announcing his decision before election day, his statement to Channel 12 and other off-the-record statements make it clear that this is his intent.
“The choice to cooperate with such a plan, at such a time, is unprecedented in the history of Israeli justice and raises serious questions,” Netanyahu said. “I have serious things to say about what we saw, and I’ll say them upon my return from my diplomatic trip in Chad.”
He added that “even Ha’aretz
wrote that this smacks of a witch hunt.”
Netanyahu said that for more than one year the police did not investigate actual offenses, but instead looked for offenses against him.
During his interview, the attorney-general refused to respond to any questions about Netanyahu and the pressure that the prime minister has exerted on him not to decide on the case before the elections.
Coalition chairman David Amsalem called Mandelblit’s statements “illegitimate.”
“There is a plot here,” Amsalem sad. “Who agrees to be interviewed? Look at what he says there, it’s all gossip.”
Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.
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