Justice: Attorney General: Netanyahu’s judicial intervention illegal

Attorney General: Netanyahu’s judicial intervention illegal

The new law is said to be tailored to incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu. photo

© Abir Sultan/Pool EPA/AP

A new law in Israel is intended to make it more difficult to remove a prime minister from office. But the fact that the Prime Minister of all people wants to work on it himself is considered by a public prosecutor to be unlawful.

Israel’s Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara has classified Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s participation in the controversial judicial reform as illegal and warned of the consequences. “Your statement last night and any actions being taken on this matter are unlawful and tainted by a conflict of interest,” Baharav-Miara wrote in a letter to Netanyahu published by Israeli media on Friday.

In a speech to the nation on Thursday evening, the head of government called for unity and announced that he intends to participate intensively in the comprehensive legislative project in the future. Baharav-Miara banned this at the beginning of February because he could benefit from the planned changes in the corruption process currently being carried out against him. So far, Justice Minister Jariv Levin and MP Simcha Rothman have been in charge of implementing the reform plans.

First law of the controversial judicial reform

Before Netanyahu’s speech, Israel’s parliament had passed a law that would make removing a head of government much more difficult. It was the first change in the law as part of the highly controversial judicial reform of the right-wing religious government. The change is said to be personally tailored to Netanyahu, who is currently accused of fraud, embezzlement and corruption. He has always denied the allegations and stressed that the government’s plans had nothing to do with his trial.

The coalition around Netanyahu accuses the Supreme Court of excessive interference in political decisions. It should therefore be possible in future for Parliament to overrule decisions of the Supreme Court with a simple majority. In addition, the composition of the body for appointing judges is to be changed. Critics see the separation of powers in danger and warn of a dangerous state crisis.


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