Attorney General accuses Netanyahu of violating Supreme Court ruling

“For our people, and for our country I will do everything to reach a solution,” the prime minister stated.

By World Israel News Staff

Attorney general Gali Baharav-Miara warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday that he has violated the Supreme Court’s ruling, which barred him from direct involvement in his government’s plans for a judicial overhaul, citing a “conflict of interest.”

Addressing the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations last month at Jerusalem’s Inbal hotel, the prime minister said he was given a gag order and could not elaborate on the topic of judicial reform.

“I’m not making this up. I’ve been given a gag order. After all, who am I? I’m just the Prime Minister of Israel. What have I got to say about this thing that is gripping  the nation? It is patently ridiculous,” he said.

On Thursday evening, however, Netanyahu spoke up. In a televised statement, he said that he had no plans to stop the judicial reform, beginning with the passage of a bill to reform the process of appointing judges.

I’m taking the reins,” Netanyahu said, referring to the change in the law on removing a prime minister. Until now, his “hands were tied” over a conflict of interest, he said.

Read  Likud: Yesh Atid doing everything to torpedo reform talks

He went on to warn that the real danger to democracy was “an all-powerful court” and that stripping the attorney general of the power to remove him from office was necessary to clear the way for him to participate in the negotiations on the judicial overhaul, notwithstanding her instructions.

“The supporters of the reform are outraged that the balance between the authorities has been violated over the past decades. The court unjustifiably interfered with security considerations in the fight against terrorism, raising difficulties with the government’s policy,” he said.

“For our people, and for our country I will do everything to reach a solution,” he vowed.

Baharav-Miara blasted the premier in a letter sent to him.

“In your address that you made last night you discussed the initiatives relating to the judiciary, in particular the makeup of the judicial appointments committee, and you announced that you will be getting directly involved in these initiatives,” wrote Baharav-Miara.

“In so doing, you violated a Supreme Court ruling, according to which you, as a prime minister under criminal indictment, must not take actions which could raise reasonable fears of a conflict of interest between your personal interests related to your criminal proceedings and the interests related to your position as prime minister.”

Read  The Knesset gets back to work - most pressing issue, state budget; most consequential, judicial reform