AG slams Likud chairman for saying millions will ignore his decision on PM

Case 4000 (the Bezeq-Walla! Affair) is the strongest case. Mandelblit will likely go after Netanyahu for breach of trust, but not bribery.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks at his watch before delivering a statement at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem December 19, 2018 (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks at his watch before delivering a statement at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem December 19, 2018
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit went on the attack late Thursday against Likud Coalition Chairman Dudi Amsalem at a speech in Haifa for saying that millions would ignore his public corruption indictment decisions regarding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"Unfortunately, lately we have heard groundless claims that law enforcement is biased, and along with these, irresponsible statements that 'millions of people will not accept' various decisions," said Mandelblit in response to Amsalem's statements.
Earlier at the same conference, Supreme Court President Esther Hayut responded to attacks of being activists against the judiciary by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and others, saying that there are no activists or conservative judges, only judges who do their best.
To hit the point home, she quoted US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts who rebuked US President Donald Trump for similar allegations, when Roberts said, "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges […] What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. […] independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for." 
The tension has mounted between the legal establishment and the politician establishment, especially the prime minister, as it became clearer this week that Mandelblit will announce an intent to indict Netanyahu for public corruption before the April 9 election, likely as early as February.
Back in June, The Jerusalem Post had reported a similar timeline, but that was before early elections were announced.
Case 4000 (the Bezeq-Walla! Affair) is the strongest case. Mandelblit will likely go after Netanyahu for breach of trust, but not bribery, in Case 1000 (the Illegal Gifts Affair) and Case 2000 (the Yediot Ahronot-Yisrael Hayom Affair) may still be closed entirely.
On Tuesday night, Mandelblit’s spokesman confirmed the Hadashot report that Mandelblit met last week to consult with a mix of former attorney-generals, Supreme Court justices and head state attorneys: Yehuda Weinstein, Meir Shamgar, Aharon Barak, Moshe Lador, Elyakim Rubinstein, Dorit Beinisch, Edna Arbel, Gavriel Bach and Zvi Zamir.
According to Hadashot, all those present unanimously said that the decision must be published pre-election and Mandelblit agreed with them.
Netanyahu’s lawyers on Tuesday slammed the possibility of a pre-election decision as an injustice.
They responded to the report saying that if Mandelblit issues a decision pre-election "it would cause injustice to the will of voters and gravely harm the democratic process."
Also, they added that many times attorney-general’s had decided to drop charges after an initial announcement, as a result of the special hearing given to minister’s prior to the final indictment decision when they can point out holes in the case against them.
Though at an earlier point, there were indications to the Post that Mandelblit wanted to avoid exactly this scenario, later indications were that he felt the timing of elections was chosen in a way that took him for granted and that pushing off the decision would be interpreted as cowing in the face of political pressure.
Despite the above, Mandelblit’s spokesman said Tuesday that the meeting with the top officials had been scheduled far in advance and had become an annual event, with this being the second meeting.
He also said that Mandelblit had not raised the question of the timing of his decision, but did tell those present that “the process of making decisions in cases would continue as is standard despite the dissolution of the Knesset.”
Even if Netanyahu wins reelection as expected until now, a later final decision to indict Netanyahu in 6-12 months could lead to his forced resignation, though the question might need to be decided by the High Court of Justice.
Netanyahu himself has said that the law would not require him to resign before a final and unappealable conviction and many scholars support his argument.