Claiming investigation lacked authority, PM’s lawyers ask for charges stricken

Benjamin Netanyahu’s lawyers again ask the Jerusalem District Court to cancel the criminal indictments against the prime minister, alleging that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit never authorized the police investigations into his affairs.

A lawyer for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has not seen the attorney general’s authorization for opening police investigations into the premier, which yielded the corruption charges for which Netanyahu now stands trial.

The headquarters of the Israel Police’s Lahav 443 Major Cromes Unit in central Israel. The unit is tasked with heading the investigations against Netanyahu. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash 90)

Citing precedents, the defense lawyer Boaz Ben Tzur tells Army Radio that if the document showing Avichai Mandelblit granted permission to open the probes does not surface, there is a chance that the charges could be canceled.

Netanyahu’s lawyers have asked the court to order the prosecution to disclose Mandelblit’s order. Ben Tzur notes that an investigation of the prime minister can only be authorized by the attorney general, and that failing to do so would be a breach of Israel’s quasi-constitutional Basic Laws.