Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responds for the first time to reports that Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara was considering ordering him to take a leave of absence over a conflict of interest between his government’s planned judicial overhaul and his corruption trial.
“No one has the right to overturn the results of the election,” he says in response to a question on the issue at a press conference.
“I am working in accordance with my conflict of interest agreement. I act under the recommendations of lawyers that I work with and there are no conflicts of interest,” he says.
While Netanyahu has not spoken publicly about the issue before, the other heads of the coalition parties and Justice Minister Yariv Levin sent a letter to her earlier in the week warning that such a move would be tantamount to a coup.
Shortly after the letter was sent, Baharav-Miara denied Friday’s reports that she had discussed the prospect.
Media outlets had claimed the attorney general was weighing the issue due to the Netanyahu government’s plans to overhaul the judiciary. They claimed Baharav-Miara viewed this as a potential breach of conflict of interest by the premier, as he cannot be involved in matters that might impact his ongoing criminal trial for corruption.