A report by journalist Yoav Yitzchak on Sunday claims that both State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are holding evidence of what Yitzchak said were criminal activities on the part of State Attorney Avichai Mandelblit. Mandelblit is aware of the situation, and is unsure if he should recommend that Netanyahu be indicted on corruption charges, as Nitzan wishes – or not, as Netanyahu is demanding.
The activities relate to the period when Mandelblit was the IDF’s chief attorney, and involve conversations he had with officials and attorneys regarding the Harpaz affair. Boaz Harpaz, a former IDF officer who was a close friend and confidante to former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, was indicted for forgery over allegations that he produced a document that allegedly indicated a plot in which several IDF officials were accused of using false pretenses to besmirch former Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in connection with the appointment of a successor for Ashkenazi. Nitzan is said to have recordings of these conversations, which Yitzchak said show “without a doubt” that Mandelblit is guilty of interfering with and impeding the investigation.
Netanyahu, meanwhile, is said to be in possession of lengthy 2015 letter from then-State Attorney Yehuda Weinstein, who laid out the case against Mandelblit in the Harpaz affair, and in other areas that he was accused of improperly handling investigations. Mandelblit at the time was director of the Cabinet, and Weinstein asked Netanyahu to distribute his letter to ministers before nominating Mandelblit for the job. Netanyahu chose not to do so, but the facts of Mandelblit’s actions as outlined in the letter are not in dispute, Yitzchak wrote.
Mandelbit, wrote Yitzchak, is “being squeezed from both sides. Mandelblit is subject to numerous pressures and influence by outside interests. It is for good reason that Mandelblit seems ill at ease, and it explains why he has made what appear to be contradictory statements and actions over the past year. One can see it in his body language. The public has a right to know everything – what Mandelblit plans to do regarding recommending an indictment against Netanyahu, as well as the letter that Weinstein wrote about Mandelblit’s activities.”