Mandelblit Drafts Opinion on Netanyahu’s Conflicts of Interest in Justice System

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (L) and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit in 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit gave Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a draft version of his legal opinion on preventing conflicts of interest for the prime minister on Friday morning.

Mandelblit said that the draft applies to Netanyahu’s conflicts of interest concerning appointments in the police and the law enforcement system, given his ongoing trials for bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Mandelblit wrote that Netanyahu must not be involved in the nomination of judges or the police commissioner, as well as any other appointments that would meddle with the work of the state prosecution, the attorney general’s office, or police investigations.

The document also said Netanyahu must not advance legislation that relates to the justice system or make decisions on Israel’s communications industry that are related to law enforcement.

Two of Netanyahu’s three cases include allegations the prime minister offered to push legislation benefiting powerful Israeli media moguls in exchange for more positive coverage in their publications.

The development came in a Justice Ministry response to the High Court of Justice, relating to a petition seeking limits on Netanyahu’s powers to make judicial appointments.

The court documents submitted by Justice Ministry attorneys related that Mandeblit had given his initial legal opinion on the matter to Netanyahu on Thursday, though the version is not final.

Netanyahu was given 10 days to appeal.

The political appointments that are currently vacant include a police commissioner.

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