Israel’s Supreme Court adjourned its hearing Sunday into the question of whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is legally permitted to form a new coalition government.
The Court said it would reconvene Monday in order to hear remaining petitions on various aspects of the three-year coalition agreement signed between Netanyahu and Blue & White faction leader Benny Gantz.
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has already said that he found no reason to ban Netanyahu from forming a government. His representative to the Court Sunday morning delivered that message on behalf of his office, telling the Court the prime minister, unlike cabinet ministers, is elected by the citizens in a reflection of a democratic society.
It is therefore the decision of the voters that must be respected, argued the Attorney General, regardless of how unpalatable the judges might find that to be.
Netanyahu’s guilt or innocence on the charges has not yet been determined – in fact, the trial has yet to begin – and thus he has the right to a presumption of innocence as much as anyone else though some might say he has already been convicted, or even drawn and quartered, in the media well before the trial has even begun.
Supreme Court President Esther Hayut pointed out in the courtroom on Sunday that the only real issue up for discussion was whether or not it is permitted by law for a prime minister under indictment to form a new government – including a prime minister of a transitional government.
The hearing continues Monday. The process could take a week.