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Photo: Yair Sagi
AG Mandelblit
Photo: Yair Sagi
AG: Case 4000 probe almost complete, 'High Court under attack'
Speaking during the annual Conference of the Israel Bar Association in Eilat, Avichai Mandelblit says police are wrapping up probe into Bezeq-Walla Affair involving PM Netanyahu, warns coalition attempts to corrode High Court's authority could have ramifications in international forum.
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said Monday morning that the investigation surrounding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into the Bezeq-Walla Affair (also known as Case 4000) is approaching its final stages, while asserting that the Israeli judicial system “is under attack” from coalition forces.

 

 

“The investigation into the case is in its latter stages. Hundreds of testimonies were gathered, some of them from across the sea. Many documents and exhibits were seized,” Mandelblit said during a speech at the annual Conference of the Israel Bar Association, Eilat.

 

AG Avichai Mandelblit (Photo: Yair Sagi)
AG Avichai Mandelblit (Photo: Yair Sagi)

The investigation involves suspicions that Bezeq majority shareholder Shaul Elovitch and Netanyahu had a quid pro quo relationship in which Bezeq enjoyed regulatory benefits in return for favorable coverage of the Netanyahu family on Walla! News, which is owned by the telecommunications giant.

 

According to the attorney general, police are also in the midst of wrapping up Case 1000 (the Gifts Affair) and Case 2000 (the Netanyahu-Mozes Affair) all of which focus on the prime minister.

 

“These are significant activities to reach the truth. There were several months in which people chose to sign a state’s witness agreement. I ask that you allow the police and the prosecution to complete their work,” he said.

 

“With the completion of the investigation, we will make an informed decision that will be brought to the public’s attention,” he promised, adding that “We will continue to act for the rule of law in the country.”

 

Mandelblit also said he would like to focus in his speech on “moves that are designed, unfortunately, to harm various branches in the judicial system headed by the Supreme Court and the law-enforcement system and to harm the rule of law and its power. The law-enforcement system is under attack.”

 

The comments come a day after former Supreme Court Chief Justice Miriam Naor lambasted attempts to pass legislation that would allow the Knesset to re-enact laws that were rejected by the High Court of Justice, thereby overriding it.

 

Mandelblit also warned against coalition-led legislation proposals related to what prominent members of the judiciary have long argued constitute a corrosion of its authority, saying they “block the investigation of the truth.”

 

Miriam Naor (Photo: Yair Sagi)
Miriam Naor (Photo: Yair Sagi)

 

“We are working tirelessly to deal with the investigation cases which are of interest to the public” regarding investigations surrounding the prime minister, Mandelblit reiterated.

 

“There are no shortcuts. We are working within the law. The best thing for the investigation, and the obligation, is to bring to light the truth which supersedes all other considerations. With the completion of the investigations, we will make an informed decision that will be brought to the public’s attention,” he said, before emphasizing the international price that Israel could be forced to play if an assault is successful on the judicial system

 

“The State of Israel is facing legal challenges of a significant weight. There is legal warfare being waged against Israel that includes the establishment of investigative committees for events that took place in Gaza in the UN Human Rights Council,” he said.

 

“The prosecution authorities and various courts in various countries respect the High Court of Justice(HCJ) decisions in the State of Israel. Thus, harming the status of the HCJ, putting aside the significant difficulties on the domestic level, harms the abilities of the state to defend itself in international forums.”

 


First published: 05.28.18, 14:15
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