Tel Aviv, Sep 26 (IANS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday asked the country’s Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit to air his pre-indictment hearings in corruption cases set for next week on a live broadcast, the media reported.
Mandelblit’s office was caught by surprise and said it will consider its response, according to the Jerusalem Post. Now, the Attorney-General will have to decide whether to continue with his February 28 announcement of an intent to indict Netanyahu for bribery or whether to reduce or drop the charges.
This comes amid high drama as coalition negotiations are in full swing. President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday said that he tapped Netanyahu with the task of forming the country’s 36th government although his rival Benny Gantz and his centrist Blue and White party won a narrow 33-32-seat victory over the Prime Minister’s Likud Party.
Gantz – who is a former Army Chief of Staff – has publicly resisted the idea of allying with the Likud, citing looming corruption charges against Netanyahu.
The Prime Minister has up to six weeks to form a majority coalition. His pre-indictment hearings are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday of next week, though there could be additional hearings later in October.