Netanyahu with Mandelblit
Netanyahu with MandelblitMarc Israel Sellem

The Israeli Supreme Court has rejected a petition to bar publication of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s findings in three investigations of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu until after the April 9th election, paving the way for Mandeblit’s much-anticipated announcement Thursday.

Mandelblit, who must sign off on any indictment of the Prime Minister, has reviewed police recommendations to indict Netanyahu in connection with three separate corruption investigations, known as Case 1000, Case 2000, and Case 3000.

Supreme Court justice Noam Sohlberg rejected the petition Thursday, which had been filed by the Likud party in a bid to push off Mandelblit’s decision on the three cases until after the elections for the 21st Knesset, slated for April 9th. The Likud petition had argued that a decision by Mandelblit in the midst of the election season could cause “unprecedented interference” in the political system.

With the petition rejected, the Attorney General is likely to announce his findings on the police recommendations to file criminal charges against Netanyahu in all three of the cases.

Mandelblit is expected to sign off on three indictments against Netanyahu, including one for breach of trust in the Case 1000, which revolves around allegations Netanyahu received expensive gifts from a wealthy businessman in exchange for favors.

In addition, Mandeblit is expected to approve an indictment against Netanyahu for breach of trust in Case 2000, in which Netanyahu is alleged to have promoted legislation which would have banned the free distribution of a competing newspaper to the benefit of Yediot Ahronot in exchange for more favorable coverage. While prosecutors have called for bribery charges as well, Mandelblit has reportedly expressed reservations about adding the charges to the indictment.

The third indictment, stemming from the Case 4000 investigation, is the most likely to include bribery charges – the most serious charges the Prime Minister could face. The case revolves around claims Netanyahu advanced regulation changes which would benefit the Bezeq telecommunications company – owned by Shaul Elovitch – in exchange for favorable coverage from Walla News! – an outlet owned by Elovitch.