Court Tells Prosecutors to Produce Authorization for PM Investigation

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Lawyer Amit Hadad. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏’s latest bid to overturn the indictments against him made headway on Tuesday, as the Yerushalayim District Court ordered prosecutors to produce Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s authorization for police investigations into the corruption cases.

Lawyers for the prime minister had asked the court to vacate the charges, alleging that Mandelblit only issued authority for the investigations after the fact, which would invalidate the cases.

The state prosecution has dismissed the claim, saying “the investigations were approved according to the law,” and that the approvals do not need to be documented in writing.

The State Attorney’s Office said that “the authorizations to open an investigation were given at two meetings, one on December 25, 2016, and the other on January 5, 2017.”

However, the court ruled that prosecutors must provide the documentation to Netanyahu’s defense team within seven days.

Previous arguments to dismiss the cases on procedural grounds have been rejected by the court, but this time it appeared that the defense might have a better chance.

It was not clear, however, what the court would do if the prosecutors fail to produce the written authorization, but only minutes from the meetings.

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