Police have ordered added protection for State Attorney Shai Nitzan and Liat Ben-Ari, the lead prosecutor in the cases against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Channel 13 TV news said on Sunday.
The decision to boost protection for the two came after security officials reviewed possible threats against them following last week’s decision by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to indict Netanyahu, pending a hearing, and the prime minister’s subsequent allegation that Nitzan and Ben-Ari had pursued him because of political motives.
Netanyahu gave an immediate response in a televised speech after Mandelblit publicized his decision and charged that Nitzan and Ben-Ari “were the two prosecutors who pushed especially hard to indict me.”
“One thing is clear. There’s one law for everyone else, and another law for Netanyahu,” he said. The Justice Ministry immediately dismissed the claim as baseless.
Channel 13 did not give details of what the additional protection the two jurists would receive.
Nitzan denied Netanyahu’s allegations during a speech at Haifa University on Sunday.
“There is no basis for these claims,” he said.
Nitzan also defended Ben-Ari, the lead prosecutor in Netanyahu’s cases who also headed the cases against former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert by saying: “She is a consummate professional who has dedicated the best years of her life to the fight against corruption.”
Nitzan and Ben-Ari earlier received the backing of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, a right-wing coalition partner of Netanyahu’s, and on Friday, Channel 12 news reported that Mandelblit singled out the two for praise in a letter to the legal team that oversaw the investigations of the prime minister.