AG’s office suggests Netanyahu pressure won’t delay decision on indictment

Mandelblit agrees to meet PM’s attorneys, is reportedly set to reach decision in graft probes before April’s elections despite calls to postpone

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit at a July 2015 cabinet meeting

Times of Israel reports, “Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s office indicated Thursday that he will turn down Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request that he delay, until after the elections on April 9, his announcement on whether he will indict the prime minister on corruption charges. Still, Mandelblit’s office said the attorney general would agree to meet Netanyahu’s attorneys “early next week” to discuss the issue.”

“The statement came amid media reports Thursday that Mandelblit had concluded his examination of the evidence in the most severe case against the prime minister, dubbed by police “Case 4000,” and is leaning toward pursuing an indictment on bribery charges. Reports have suggested that Mandelblit will seek to announce his decision on a possible indictment, pending a hearing, in February. In response, Netanyahu has argued over the past two weeks that it would be unfair to make the announcement before Israelis cast their ballot in the general election.”

“Though he has not directly accused Mandelblit of political bias in apparently pursuing an announcement before April 9, Netanyahu has repeatedly charged that announcing an indictment in the midst of an election campaign would be akin to “stealing the elections.” Meanwhile, other lawmakers in the Likud party have lashed out at Mandelblit, calling the investigations against Netanyahu a “politicized witch hunt.” (more…)

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