The improper conducting of the Netanyahu investigation

Leaking information from an investigation is a criminal act that harms the essence of due process. So why has it not been stopped from happening throughout the Netanyahu investigations?

Nachi Eyal, Legal Forum, | updated: 14:43

OpEds Netanyahu at Israel Hayom conference
Netanyahu at Israel Hayom conference
חזקי עזרא

For many years, the Legal Forum has taken the leading role in auditing the Office of the State Attorney. Audit reports revealed that there have been improprieties in the Israeli prosecution system, and elected officials who have tried to chart a path that conflicted with the opinions of senior judges suddenly found themselves subject to various investigations.

The conduct of the Office of the State Attorney in the Netanyahu cases has demonstrated that significant reform in the conduct of the prosecution in Israel is required. This week, a number of the Prime Minister's close advisers were taken for investigation on suspicion of harassing a state witness in one of Netanyahu's affairs. Their phones were taken from them for the sake of the "investigation", although the state witness did not file any complaint against them.

Like all things published about Netanyahu's affairs, we do not know if the confiscation of the phones were necessary. However, the timing of this confiscation, when the Office of the State Attorney is eager to prosecute Netanyahu, smells of a phishing expedition and certainly does not increase public confidence in the Office of the State Attorney.

The conduct of the Office of the State Attorney is of itself an issue that requires thorough investigation. Over the past few years, information from specific interrogation rooms have somehow reached specific reporters even before they reached Netanyahu's attorneys. Time and time again, certain reporters who never criticize the Office of the State Attorney were able to publish secret materials from the interrogation rooms.


The Office of the State Attorney seems to have no problem with providing favours, in the form of leaks, in return for positive coverage, and in the same breath putting Netanyahu on trial for exactly the same "crime".
Leaking information from an investigation is a criminal act that harms the essence of due process. However, the Office of the State Attorney, which receives very good press and is satisfied with the current arrangement, is in no hurry to investigate, since it will need to investigate... itself!

This in itself puts a big question mark on the justification of charging Netanyahu with bribery for requesting positive coverage in return for certain favours.The Office of the State Attorney seems to have no problem with providing favours, in the form of leaks, in return for positive coverage, and in the same breath putting Netanyahu on trial for exactly the same "crime".

The goal of a true investigation should be to arrive at the truth and not shoot the arrow and then mark the target. The violation of individual freedoms and, in particular, the right to privacy, as had been done in the investigation of Netanyahu's advisers, was uncalled for. Suspects and the accused have rights, and the Office of the State Attorney sometimes forgets that its purpose is to get to the truth without violating human rights.




top