Mandelblit Pledges Impartial Probe

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who had served as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s cabinet secretary before his current post, pledged there would be no special treatment for lawyer David Shimron in the conflict of interest probe of deals for naval vessels from Germany, The Times of Israel said on Thursday.

“Everyone is equal before the law and nobody is above the law,” Mandelblit told a lawyers conference in Haifa on Thursday. “If this inquiry reveals that there is reasonable suspicion of a criminal offense, we will move over to a criminal inquiry,” he said, adding that he hoped a decision could be made “within a short time.”

Mandelblit reopened the inquiry on Wednesday after having closed the file the day before, after fresh evidence surfaced of a possible conflict of interest. However, the focus has shifted from the purchase of German-made Dolphin submarines to a 2014 Defense Ministry tender for naval ships to protect Israel’s offshore natural gas fields.

Both Netanyahu and Shimron have denied any wrongdoing.