Mandelblit warns lack of justice minister has ‘far-reaching’ consequences

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit sends a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, cautioning that the continued lack of a justice minister will have “far-reaching consequences from a public health point of view.”

Gantz was acting justice minister until last month, when his three-month temporary term — which cannot be extended — ended since Netanyahu refused to appoint a permanent minister. Netanyahu can’t be a minister due to the corruption trial against him.

In the letter, Mandelblit says that starting April 21, thousands of detainees and prisoners will have to be physically brought to court for arrest and remand hearings, since video conference won’t be allowed due to the lack of a minister. Since many detainees and prisoners aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19, that would pose a health risk.

Additionally, some aspects of the pandemic response will be harmed, Mandelblit writes.