Netanyahu's pre-indictment hearing postponed till October
Attorney General's office says hearing will take place at start of the month; decision comes after prime minister's lawyers request extension on planned July date in order to read prosecution material in three cases likely to result in charges
Attorney General Avichai Mandeblit said Wednesday that he has postponed a pre-indictment hearing for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by three months.
According to Mandeblit's office, the much-anticipated hearing will take place at the beginning of October, after Netanyahu's lawyers asked for an extension to review the prosecution's material. The Jewish festival of Rosh Hashanah ends on October 1 this year, and Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, begins on October 8.
The Justice Ministry has previously said the hearing would take place by July 10.
Mandelblit - who was formerly Netanyahu's cabinet secretary - has recommended pressing charges against the prime minister in three corruption cases, pending the hearing.
The attorney general recommended bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges in Case 4000, in which Netanyahu is suspected of receiving favorable coverage on the Walla! News website in return for regulatory benefits to telecommunications giant Bezeq, which owned the site.
He also called for charges of fraud and breach of trust in both Case 1000, in which Netanyahu and his family are suspected of receiving illicit gifts from wealthy donors such as Israeli Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, and Case 2000, in which Netanyahu allegedly tried to negotiate favorable coverage in the Yedioth Ahronoth daily (Ynetnews' sister publication) in return for promoting legislation against rival paper Israel Hayom.
The recently re-elected Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and has called the charges the product of a media-orchestrated witch hunt to depose him.