Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit informed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday that he cannot appoint top legal or police officials, citing a conflict of interest due to the premier’s ongoing corruption trial, the Justice Ministry said.
In a legal opinion, Mandelblit said 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 draft document also said Netanyahu must not advance legislation that relates to the justice system or make decisions on Israeli communications industry that are related to law enforcement.
Two of Netanyahu’s three criminal cases include allegations the Israeli prime minister offered to push legislation benefiting powerful Israeli media moguls in exchange for more positive coverage in their publications.
The prime minister in the past has also sought to advance legislation that would shield him from prosecution, though those efforts were put on ice with the formation of the unity government with Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party.
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.
Source: Israeli media