Published On: Thu, Oct 19th, 2017

PM Under Investigation: Bill Shielding Netanyahu From Investigation May Be Shelved

Proposed 'French Bill' preventing investigation into affairs of sitting PM may be shelved before vote due to Kulanu’s resistance, AG Mandelblit's expected objections, citing equality before the law.

MK David Amsalem and PM Netanyahu

PM Under Investigation: Despite an innumerable of preparatory discussions, debates and preparations over the past few months, the “French Bill”—intended to prevent the criminal investigation from beginning against a sitting prime minister, in this case, Netanyahu—may be shelved before making it to a vote.

The suggested draft law was at first, applied by Chairman of Internal Affairs Committee of the Knesset, David Amsalem (Likud), long considered to be an adherent of PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

Amsalem’s bill was designate, to be put to a vote in the ministerial committee on an act of legislation this coming Sunday, and was said to put an end to police investigations into Netanyahu’s administer, for ensuring his continued term without tumult or interruption.

 

However, following talks that have been held in the past few days between heads of the coalition parties, a consensus appears to be forming around the belief the proposed bill is problematic on several levels.

Firstly, since it would be an amendment to a Basic Law, all parties in the coalition would be required to agree to it.

 

AG Mendelblit pointedly objects to the bill, effectively scuttling it (Photo Yariv Katz)

Soliciting the consent of the Kulanu party—headed by Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon—would potentially prove an insurmountable stumbling block since it currently stands in opposition to the proposal.

No less significantly, a second reason is Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s pointed objection to the bill. According to a senior legal source Mandleblit’s veto alone would suffice to quash the bill in its infancy.

The attorney general’s legal opinion, as Israel’s foremost legal authority, carries notable weight particularly since the bill risks, according to its detractors, placing the prime minister above the law and undermining the concept of equality in the eyes of Israeli law.

The source further described the bill as unnecessary in any case, since any decision made by either the police of State Attorney’s Office, no matter how small, is scrutinized by the attorney general, weighed and deliberated and only then decided upon, by the attorney general himself.

The legal source also assumed the public hullabaloo around the proposed bill caused certain elements in Netanyahu’s inner circle to backtrack on their proposal. In any event, if the law was to be enacted, it would only enter into force after the next elections.

The source concluded by cautioning that freezing such investigations into alleged wrongdoing by senior public figures may well disrupt them altogether, as the passage of time may cause witnesses to hold their peace, evidence to disappear and suspects to coordinate their testimonies with one another.

By Ynet News

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