The Attorney General and State Prosecutor expressed their dismay at attacks on the legal system.
By World Israel News Staff
Tensions between the Israeli state prosecutors and the Netanyahu administration were on display at a state attorneys’ function on Tuesday night, Israel Hayom reports.
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said, “I am hearing threats. I am hearing lies. I am hearing baseless slander,” in a criticism of the attacks he has faced after indicting the prime minister on bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three corruption cases.
“I am hearing expressions that don’t have a place in public discourse that are directed at the law enforcement system, and certain senior officials inside it… That is simply shocking,” Mandelblit said.
In a defiant statement last Thursday evening, shortly after Mandelblit announced the indictment, Netanyahu slammed the decision, which he said stemmed from “false accusations” and a systematically “tainted investigation.”
Netanyahu listed a number of examples of state prosecutors using their power to open investigations into politicians with whom they didn’t agree, calling it a “method.”
Netanyahu called out by name the head of the State Attorney’s Office Shai Nitzan and Liat Ben-Ari, head of the taxation and economic crimes division of the state attorney’s Tel Aviv district. Both were instrumental in pushing the cases against him forward.
Mandelblit said on Tuesday, “The fact that [Nitzan and Ben-Ari] walk around with bodyguards only because they carried out their duty – is unacceptable and incomprehensible.”
Nitzan also spoke at the event and criticized Justice Minister Amir Ohana, who was in attendance.
“There’s a movement of all kinds of elements, whose entire purpose is to create distrust in the attorney’s office, all the reasons for which are known. They hit with a hammer and then say the public’s trust has dropped. Of course it dropped. There are massive forces that make every effort to hurt it,” he said.
Ohana, who spoke afterwards, said, “The lack of faith exists and we can’t deny it – against the enforcement authorities in general and the attorney’s office in particular. The worrying facts are clear and are apparent in a number of polls and deep surveys from the recent period.”