Israeli Attorney General Accuses Netanyahu of Breaking Laws

  • Netanyahu ignores conflicts of interest, says AG
  • Critics say proposed changes would undermine the Supreme Court
  • Protests within the military reportedly escalate
  • 200 Reserve Pilots Suspend Service – Channel 12

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s attorney general on Friday accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of breaking the law by ignoring conflicts of interest in the ongoing corruption trial and directly intervening in the government’s judicial reform plan.

In the face of mounting protests against the proposed changes, which critics have accused of undermining the Supreme Court, Netanyahu said on Thursday that he would set aside all other considerations to reach a resolution. “I will do whatever is necessary,” he said.

A letter from Attorney General Gary Bahalaf-Miarah confronts a plan that has caused deep divisions in Israeli society, took tens of thousands of protesters to the streets, warned businesses and caused right-wing rifts to face headwinds spurred on. the union itself.

Following Netanyahu’s speech, Israel’s Channel 12 reported that about 200 elite reserve Air Force pilots said they would be out of service on Friday due to a planned law, escalating protests from within the military. .

Netanyahu summoned the defense secretary to outline the potential impact of the overhaul on the military, after media reported that Defense Minister Yoav Galant would seek the cancellation of the plan on Thursday.

But Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption charges he denies, pushed ahead and declared in a televised address on Thursday that he would try to pass the core of the package next week.

On Thursday, the Knesset amended a law limiting the circumstances under which a prime minister can be removed from office, but Bahrakh Miara said Netanyahu must stay out of a judicial reform package handled by Justice Minister Yariv Levin.

“The legal situation is clear. We must refrain from involvement in initiatives to change the justice system.” “Your statements last night and your actions in violation of this issue are illegal.”

The letter follows Bahlav Miala’s earlier warnings that Netanyahu must walk away from his coalition’s pressure to reform the judiciary because of what he sees as a conflict of interest arising from his trial.

In a message circulated by the ruling Likud party, an unnamed source close to Netanyahu denied that the prime minister had violated any laws or conflict of interest agreements in his statement and said it would have no bearing on his trial. rice field.

According to this source, it is the prime minister’s duty to try to reach a broad consensus at a time of national crisis that affects both domestically and internationally.

Far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gubir has accused the Attorney General, appointed by the former centre-right government, of acting as the de facto head of the opposition.

“If Bahraf Miara wants to make decisions on behalf of elected officials, we welcome her to form a party and run for parliament,” he wrote on Twitter.

Following the Attorney General’s letter, the Watch Group Movement for Israel’s Quality Government filed a contempt of court complaint and said Netanyahu would face sanctions, including heavy fines and imprisonment, as stipulated by law. said to request

Netanyahu’s religious-nationalist coalition has pursued changes to the judicial system to influence the government in choosing judges and limit the power of the Supreme Court to override laws.

Proponents say the plan will curb the Supreme Court’s excesses and restore balance between government departments. Critics say it would undermine the courts, endanger civil liberties and harm the economy.

The proposed plan sparked weeks of nationwide demonstrations and raised concerns among the country’s western allies.

Following the protests Netanai traveled to London on Friday, where he met British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Hundreds of people stood outside 10 Downing Street, waving Israeli flags and beating drums. “Netanyahu go to jail. You can’t speak for Israel,” one shouted.

The broadcaster had hoped to film the start of the meeting between Sunak and Netanyahu, but it appears to have been cancelled.

Reported by Henriette Chacar.Edited by Angus McSwan, Clarence Fernandez, James Mackenzie, William McLean

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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