Justice Ministry Denies Reports Mandelblit to Delay Decision on PM Until After Elections

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Despite a statement by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit& on Monday that early elections will have no effect on when he decides whether to file corruption charges against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, local media reports quoted officials who indicated that he will wait until after elections to make the decision.

The Justice Ministry denied reports in the Israeli media of such a delay, insisting that Mandeblit’s “orderly and professional” review of the investigations would continue “as planned” and “will not depend on political events.”

The sources in law enforcement, who were quoted on condition of anonymity, explained that Mandelblit wishes to avoid the public perception that he is trying to influence the outcome of the vote, according to Channel 10.

However, the Justice Ministry denied this, and cited its internal guidelines on prosecuting public officials who are up for reelection, which generally advise prosecutors to continue their legal proceedings — but to operate with caution.

“As a rule, there is no room to delay dealing with cases against public officials or candidates, who have previously been subject to investigation or police complaint, for the purpose of deciding on whether to lodge an indictment,” the guidelines say.

“However, the treatment [of the cases] will take into consideration the necessary caution, and, as needed, the matter will be brought to the attorney general or state prosecutor [for a decision.]”