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AG Mandelblit
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
AG: 'Recent legislation seeks to change gov't balance of power'
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit restates objections to bills forbidding investigation into sitting PM's affairs, barring police from recommending indictments, laments passage of latter law in Ministerial Legislation Committee despite his objections; 'Bills seek to change delicate balance between branches of gov't, should be treated with utmost caution to avoid harming rule of law, public's interest,' Mandelblit warns.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit reiterated his objections to the bills intended to shield Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whether from investigation—through the "French Bill"—or police recommending indictments.

 

 

"I have voiced my firm objections to bills I thought may severely harm basic principles. Nevertheless, some of the proposals were discussed and approved (Sunday) in the Ministerial Legislation Committee despite my vociferous protestations," Mandelblit said in a speech Tuesday evening.

 

Mandelblit was speaking at an event organized by the Israel Bar Association for outgoing Supreme Court Chief Justice Miriam Naor.

 

AG Mandelblit said recent legislation seeks to change balance of power in gov't (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
AG Mandelblit said recent legislation seeks to change balance of power in gov't (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)

 

"These bills, as well as additional bills floated recently, seek to change the delicate balance between the branches of government, and should therefore be treated with the utmost caution and diligence to avoid harming the rule of law and the public's interest as a whole," Mandelblit cautioned.

 

Despite the attorney general's objections, the law barring police from recommending indictments when they conclude an investigation was approved by the Ministerial Legislation Committee this past Sunday. However, it was also agreed the bill would only be promoted with the agreement of Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, who objected to the bill in its current form.

 

State Attorney Shai Nitzan, who in an irregular move appeared before the ministerial committee, said the bill was "harmful and will effectively serve to muzzle police."

 

State Attorney Nitzan voiced his objections to law barring police from recommending indictments, saying it was meant to 'muzzle' them (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)
State Attorney Nitzan voiced his objections to law barring police from recommending indictments, saying it was meant to 'muzzle' them (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)

 

Earlier this week, the law's originator MK David Amsalem (Likud) said recent legislative effort had nothing to do with Netanyahu. In a Ynet studio interview, Amsalem clarified the bill was "Needed for the State of Israel and its citizens. This law pertains to hundreds of thousands of Israel's citizens cumulatively. At the end of the day, I have no idea with a 'personal' law is. If we raise old-age pensions, it that a personal law because Netanyahu may end up enjoying them?"

 

Mandelblit also spoke about Naor at her farewell event. "You leave behind you an independent, professional and strong judiciary. You've never lost sign of the solemn commitment you made the day you started serving: to preserve the judicial system. It has not been an easy time. Nevertheless, you left us with a sturdy legacy of preserving the rule of law and the public's interests," the attorney general lauded.

 

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