Mandelblit Credit: Flash 90

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's lawyers on Sunday that if they wish to hold a pre-indictment hearing for Netanyahu regarding the investigative files pertaining to his cases, they must schedule it before May 10, 2019. The hearing must take place before July 10, 2019.

Mandelblit made it clear to the lawyers that he would not delay the pre-indictment hearing until the issue of their fees was settled. "The issue of the fees is not our concern. Therefore, it does not justify any delay in transferring the core investigative materials to the prime minister or to his representatives, and in any event, this does not affect the date of the hearing," the attorney general's office said in a statement.

Two months ago, Netanyahu's lawyers asked not to collect the investigative files of the cases related to the prime minister until after the elections due to fear of leaks of the investigative files to the media, which, according to them, would affect the electorate.

In their appeal, the defense attorneys emphasized that this was a "brief delay of only 40 days in handing over the files." Mandelblit agreed to delay the delivery of the files and they have been available at the offices of the State Attorney's Office for Taxation and Economics in Tel Aviv from April 10 but so far there has been no request from Netanyahu's lawyers to collect the files.

The defense attorneys recently reported that they did not intend to collect the files, as long as the issue of their fees was not settled.

The attorney general's office also stated that "if the prime minister chooses not to hold the hearing as aforesaid, the attorney general will make a final decision on his cases on the basis of the evidence that he currently has."

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