Netanyahu blasts attorney general over timing of TV interview

Netanyahu criticized Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s decision to appear on a news show in the middle of an investigation.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

On Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit concerning an appearance he made on Israel’s Channel 12 news.

“The choice to cooperate with such a program, at such a time, is unprecedented in the history of Israeli law and raises serious questions,” Netanyahu said. “I have serious things to say about what we saw tonight and I will say them once I return from my diplomatic trip to Chad.”

By “such a time,” Netanyahu referred to the ongoing investigation against him involving a number of corruption cases. It’s in Mandelblit’s hands whether to charge Netanyahu.

Mandelblit said in the interview, “These cases are important to me. They are important to the system and they are important to the State of Israel. … my entire professional life has led me to this moment, and my entire professional career will be measured by this decision”

According to a Friday evening report, a senior legal official said that Mandelblit had already decided to charge Netanyahu in Case 4000, or the Bezek-Walla! case, in which the prime minister allegedly bestowed government benefits on a company in favor of favorable news coverage.

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Netanyahu also posted criticism of the interview on Twitter on Saturday. On Sunday, he tweeted an image of a billboard showing prominent journalists under the caption “They will not decide. You will decide.” The billboard is on display along a major Israeli highway.

Israel’s prime minister has frequently sounded the theme that Israeli media is engaging in a campaign to remove him from office. He also posted a Facebook video Saturday night accusing the media of hounding Mandelblit.

“For three years, the left and the media have been pursuing the attorney general to file an indictment at any cost. In the grocery store, on the street in the synagogue. Will they succeed?”