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Israel attorney general to meet Netanyahu’s lawyer over indictment timing

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris, France on 11 November 2018 [Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images]
Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris, France on 11 November 2018 [Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images]

Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s lawyer “to discuss Netanyahu’s request that Mandelblit not make any decisions in the cases against him prior to April’s election”, reported Haaretz.

Responding to attorney Navot Tel-Zur’s letter, Mandelblit’s aide, Gil Limon, “wrote that work on the cases won’t be influenced by the election”.

However, he added, Mandelblit would meet with Tel-Zur early next week, “so you can explain your client’s position about the timing” of the decision “in greater depth”.

According to reports, the Attorney General is expected to issue his decision next month.

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In his letter, Limon said the Attorney General’s Office was obeying Mandelblit’s instruction that “there are no grounds for suspending the handling of cases against elected officials or candidates” if police have finished investigating and the cases are merely awaiting a prosecutor’s decision.

Though the cases will be handled “with the requisite caution,” he added, prosecutors will be guided “strictly by professional considerations”, said Haaretz.

The newspaper added that “if Mandelblit does announce a decision to indict, it won’t be final until a pre-indictment hearing is held at which Netanyahu’s attorneys can try to change his mind”.

“Consequently”, Haaretz added, “Mandelblit has said that even if he decides to indict, Netanyahu can remain in office until that hearing takes place”.

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