Gil Limon, senior assistant to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, on Thursday rejected the request of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to postpone the PM’s hearing ahead of filing an indictment in his three pending cases.
Limon also hinted that the hearing is not expected to change the decision to indict the PM on charges of bribery, corruption and breach of trust, when he stressed that the hearing would not go into “particular litigation regarding the depths of the case,” but rather be focused on “principle issues.” Or, simply put, Bibi’s legal team can argue all it wants, these charges will go to indictments.
Netanyahu’s attorney, Amit Hadad, appealed on Wednesday to the AG to postpone the hearing “for a reasonable period after the election date of September 17.” Hadad argued that the prime minister would not be free to prepare for a hearing while he leads the Likud’s election campaign and later, after he would presumably win and be busy cobbling the next coalition government.
The hearing, originally scheduled for no later than July 10, has already been postponed until October 2, the day after Rosh Hashanah, or 9 business days after the election.
This period also includes the week of Selichot.
Senior assistant to the AG Gil Limon wrote Hadad that “the dispersal of the Knesset and the fact of new elections cannot in themselves constitute a justification for delaying the date of the hearing on the investigation cases pending against the Prime Minister,
Stressing the importance of “separation between the legal and political tracks” in the prime minister’s affairs, Limon added that “it has not been established that there is room to change the dates set for holding the hearing,” noting that the date of the hearing was determined while taking into consideration that the prime minister would be engaged in the task of forming the government and the burdens involved.
“We believe that the time allowed for your client to prepare for the hearing, from the date of notification about the AG’s decision until the date that was finally set, six months from when the investigation materials were made available to you, is a sufficient period of time that allows for proper preparation for a hearing,” Limon wrote.
Attorney Hadad was told to announce by next Monday, June 10, whether the Prime Minister intends to appear at the hearing on October 2. Otherwise, Limon wrote, “the Attorney General will make his final decision in [Netanyahu] case based the evidentiary material before him.”