Netanyahu has 30 days to request immunity

Benjamin Netanyahu photo: Emil Salman, Haaretz

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has sent Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein a list of over 300 prosecution witnesses against the prime minister.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has presented a revised indictment against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein (Likud). The revised indictment contains a full list of 333 prosecution witnesses. The indictment also made it clear that if the Knesset decides against granting Netanyahu immunity, it will be filed in the Jerusalem District Court, as required by the Basic Law: The Government.

Mandelblit asserts in his letter to Edelstein that the original indictment presented to him fulfills the provisions of the Knesset Members Immunity, Rights and Duties Law, and certainly fulfills the purpose of the law, even though it did not contain a list of prosecution witnesses and did not state in which district court he intended to file the indictment. "Nevertheless, because of the approaches received at the Attorney General's Office, including from the prime minister's defense lawyers, and for the sake of good order, Attorney General Mandelblit decided to present a version of the indictment to the Knesset speaker that includes the list of prosecution witnesses, and that also states that, in accordance with the local jurisdiction rules governing a sitting prime minister, the indictment will be filed in the Jerusalem District Court," the letter states. 

An MK is entitled to ask the Knesset to allow him or her to keep the immunity granted him by law within 30 days of the attorney general's announcement of a decision to indict. Mandelblit made it clear that he would agree to begin counting the 30 days from today, not from the date of the original indictment, in order to avoid arguments on the matter, and in the interests of impartiality.

The list of witnesses includes MKs, ministers, regulators, journalists, and tycoons. For example, Minister of Tourism Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin, Minister of Environmental Protection Zeev Elkin, Yesh Atid Party chairman Yair Lapid, former Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni, and former MK Eitan Cabel will testify against Netanyahu.

Among the many journalists who will testify are former "Yedioth Ahronoth" editors Ron Yaron and Eran Tiefenbrunn, "Israel Hayom" publishers Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, and former Walla! editors Aviram Elad and Yinon Magal.

Other interesting witnesses include former Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and Knesset legal counsel Eyal Yinon. Netanyahu's lawyer in the 1000 and 2000 cases, Adv. Amit Hadad, has been summonsed to testify for the prosecution, as has Adv. David Shimron, an associate and relative of Netanyahu. 122 Israel Police and Israel Security Authority investigators will testify. The police investigators include those responsible for the investigative trick used on Nir Hefetz that aroused great controversy a few weeks ago.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on December 2, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

Benjamin Netanyahu photo: Emil Salman, Haaretz
Benjamin Netanyahu photo: Emil Salman, Haaretz
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