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Likud petitions High Court to stop AG announcing indictment against PM

In a dramatic last-ditch attempt to prevent the publication of criminal charges against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before the April election, the Likud party files a petition with the High Court of Justice calling for a block on the expected announcement of intention to indict the premier in three criminal cases against him.

According to the ruling party’s chief legal adviser, publishing the charges pending a hearing process that will only be completed after the vote could unfairly affect the outcome of the election.

Navot Tel-Zur at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem on February 9, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

“It is possible that as a result of the publication of the attorney general’s decision, parties that are part of the right-wing bloc that supports the prime minister will receive fewer seats in the Knesset, although this decision may turn 180 degrees as a result of the hearing that will take place only after the elections, but it will be too late for the parties that lost representation in the Knesset and in the government that will arise, as a direct result of this publication,” Navot Tel Zur says.

“This is an unprecedented case since the establishment of the state, in which such a decision will be made against an incumbent prime minister, and great caution is necessary and obvious in terms of preventing intervention in the election campaign.”

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is widely expected in the coming hours to announce his intention to charge Netanyahu with criminal offenses in all three cases against him, including bribery in the Bezeq corruption probe.

— with Raoul Wootliff

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