Mandelblit: Leaking investigations - not electioneering

AG claims publishing material from Prime Minister investigations on news channels does not meet definition of campaign propaganda.

Mordechai Sones ,

Mandelblit
Mandelblit
Flash 90

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit responded to a petition by the Likud movement to the Knesset Central Election Committee regarding publications of investigative material relating to the Prime Minister.

"There is no room for the petition," advised Mandelblit.

To view the full Attorney General's opinion in Hebrew, click here.

At the outset Mendelblit stated that he "views with seriousness the transmission of information without permission or authority from a criminal proceeding currently in the process of being considered.

"Providing such information could adversely affect the conduct of the criminal proceeding, impair the rights of the suspects and defendants, as well as impair the purity of the judicial proceeding," he writes.

The Court noted that the Prime Minister's Office approached it to delay the delivery of investigative material in his case, in view of the fear that the information would be released close to the 21st Knesset election, and the Court even accepted the request.

He also claims that the Likud petition asks the Election Commission Chairman to act in a way that goes beyond his authority.

Mandelblit refers to the fact that this is not electioneering: "This is a news release by a television channel, not by a candidate or candidate list. This is a matter of interest to his question whether it is 'election propaganda'.

"This is a news release by a television channel, of information which the editors consider newsworthy in accordance with their professional considerations. Therefore, and in accordance with the 'test of dominance' as set out in case law and as applied in other contexts regarding the above paragraph - it is difficult to justify the argument that this is campaign propaganda, so the ground slips out from under the argument anyway," he adds.

The Likud commented: "The Attorney General's opinion is particularly puzzling in light of the fact that only five months ago he published an opposite opinion, stating that the investigation material should be delayed in files related to the Prime Minister until after the election date, fearing that the evidence will find its way to the media and be published during the election period."




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