Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit.
(photo credit: EMIL SALMAN/HAARETZ/MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit announced on Thursday that coalition deals discussed to date and designed to protect Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from having to resign despite his public corruption cases are legal.
Following his receipt of several requests by opposition MKs and interested parties to intervene and veto as illegal some of the plans under discussion, Mandelblit finally gave his decision that he cannot intervene and that he has not received any information that could be the basis of opening a criminal probe of negotiators.
The attorney-general’s response was by no means an approval of the plans – which are essentially to make coalition deals that demand that all parties support Netanyahu to continue as prime minister, even if a final indictment is issued against him, as well as other potential legal measures to protect him.
As Mandelblit explained, his authority is severely limited in the political arena, as opposed to when applied to ministers and the Knesset.
He said that at this stage, the parties involved were using their hats as political actors, not yet as ministers or MKs.
Without addressing any of the specific plans the coalition is considering to protect Netanyahu, he implied that until the coalition deal was finalized with initiatives that actually break the law and ministers or MKs acted on those initiatives, he could not intervene.
Mandelblit said that if the coalition openly violated the rule of law once it was formed, he would not hesitate to intervene.
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