AG refuses PM's request to push off indictment decision

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit reportedly bashes prime minister, is prepared to rule on indictment before elections.

Tzvi Lev ,

Netanyahu with Mandelblit
Netanyahu with Mandelblit
Flash 90

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit reportedly accused Prime Minister Netanyahu of "dragging the whole country down with him" Hadashot reports.

The top legal official's accusations came as he reportedly denied the prime minister's request to postpone an announcement whether to indict him before elections in April. Police have recommended that the prime minister stand trial in various corruption investigations titled 'Case 1000', 'Case 2000', and 'Case 4000'. Netanyahu can only stand trial, however, if Mandelblit decides to issue an indictment following a prior hearing.

On Wednesday Netanyahu sent an official letter asking Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to delay the decision on his cases until after the elections on April 9.

Netanyahu's attorney Navot Tel Tzur wrote in the missive that any announcement would hurt his client in the upcoming elections.

"The publication of a partial and one-sided picture to the public without publishing the arguments and answers to the suspicions carries the risk of misleading and distorting the will of the voter and may cause irreversible damage and be interpreted as interference in elections," wrote Tel Zur.

In a video clip he released earlier this month, Netanyahu alleged that "pressure" on Mandelblit to indict him before Israelis go to vote "is reaching its peak".

"They are trying to force the attorney general to intervene grossly in the elections by inviting me to a hearing - when it is known in advance that the hearing cannot be concluded until the elections," continued Netanyahu.

"It is not possible to open a hearing before the elections if it can not be concluded until the elections. It is inconceivable that the public will hear only one side's arguments and will not hear the answers of the other side."