Herzog denies talking about case with Mandelblit

State argues new probe should not impact his ministerial appointment.

MK Herzog
Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog raised eyebrows Monday when he was photographed at a breakfast sitting near Attorney- General Avichai Mandelblit, who will soon rule on whether to open a criminal investigation into Herzog’s alleged campaign fund-raising violations.
Both Mandelblit’s office and Herzog issued statements denying that they spoke to each other about the case at the breakfast during an annual legal conference in Eilat.
“We had a fascinating and deep conversation about salad and omelettes,” Herzog said cynically.
Herzog said in his speech at the conference that anyone who has worked with him knows he insists on full transparency, and complained that his rivals were using the police against him.
“My entire life, people said about me that I don’t cut corners or cooperate in political tricks. That was why people called me a nerd,” he said.
State Comptroller Yosef Shapira appeared to criticize Herzog and refer to the probe against him at the conference.
“Candidates who give partial information need to be aware that they have to give all the information,” Shapira said.
“The requirement to give all the information to the comptroller is not a mere recommendation.”
The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew sister publication Ma’ariv reported Monday night that sources in the police believe that Herzog’s probe will soon become a full fledged criminal investigation.
Meanwhile, in the case against Shas leader Arye Deri, the state decided to oppose a call by the NGO Movement for Quality Government to expand its petition against allowing him to serve as Interior Minister.
Netanyahu has been waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on Deri’s appointment, but when the criminal investigation surfaced last week, the NGO asked the Court to take the new probe into account. The state responded that the petition and the new probe were unrelated.