Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit declined Thursday Prime Minister's Benjamin Netanyahu's call for his pre-trial hearing next week on corruption allegations to be broadcast live.
Mandelblit's senior advisor Dr. Gil Limon sent a letter to Netanyahu's attorneys outright declining Netanyahu's request, saying "no hearing in any suspect's case is or ever was conducted publicly".
"It would have been much better if rather than making an idle request such as this in regards of the hearing process, which you know very well will not be accepted, you would work to comply with the mandatory guidelines in this procedure. Particularly, submitting reasoned and detailed arguments before the date of the hearing, which are intended to assist in holding a substantive, thorough and in-depth hearing.
"The attorney general's instructions regarding a pre-indictment hearing state that the suspect's arguments must be filed in writing prior to the hearing. We regret that instead of following this directive, you found it appropriate to deliver us with a very short document, that lacked any actual content, and now you have found it appropriate to issue an unprecedented request without any foundation, knowing that it will be rejected.
"But this procedure will not be able to fulfill its purpose if there is an intention to conduct it as a media event, rather than an important stage in the criminal procedure. Needless to say, we will not allow this."
This letter was sent as a response to Netanyahu's Thursday call for his pre-trial hearing on corruption allegations to be broadcast live, saying that "the time has come for the public to hear everything, including my side".
"After a three-year flood of tendentious, partial media leaks, the time has come for the public to hear everything, including my side," Netanyahu said in a social media video.
"I am therefore asking the attorney-general to open up the hearing for live broadcast ... You know that transparency delivers the truth."
The prime minister is being investigated in three separate cases: Case 1000 concerns illicit gifts Netanyahu allegedly received from business moguls Arnon Milchan and James Packer.
Case 2000 concerns alleged discussions Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes had over a quid pro quo of positive media for the prime minister in return for Netanyahu weakening Yedioth's main rival newspaper Israel Hayom.
Case 4000 involves an alleged plan to ease regulations for telecommunications mogul and Bezeq chief Shaul Elovitch in return for positive coverage on his Walla! news website.
He has denied any wrongdoing.