World: Israel's attorney general, a Netanyahu appointee, turns accuser - - PressFrom - US
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World Israel's attorney general, a Netanyahu appointee, turns accuser

16:06  22 november  2019
16:06  22 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

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The Attorney General of Israel heads the legal system of the executive branch and the public prosecution of the state. The Attorney General advises the government in legal matters, represents the state' s authorities in the courts

Israel ' s attorney general has charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in connection with three separate cases. Mr Netanyahu is alleged to have accepted gifts from wealthy businessmen and dispensed favours to try to get more positive press coverage.

Discreet but influential -- and hand-picked to his role by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- Avichai Mandelblit has become the first attorney general in Israeli history to indict a serving premier.

Avichai Mandelblit wearing a suit and tie: Israel's attorney general Avichai Mandelblit (pictured) announced the indictment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday© Menahem KAHANA Israel's attorney general Avichai Mandelblit (pictured) announced the indictment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday

Standing in front of two Israeli flags, the grey-bearded 56-year-old struck a solemn tone Thursday as he read out bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges against Netanyahu.

He said the decision to indict was made "with a heavy heart but with a whole heart."

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JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel ’ s attorney general on Thursday formally charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a series of corruption cases, throwing the country’s paralyzed political system into further disarray and threatening the long-time leader’s grip on power. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit

Israel ’ s attorney general on Thursday formally charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a series of corruption cases, throwing the country’s paralyzed political system into further disarray and threatening the long-time leader’s grip on power.

Born in Tel Aviv to a right-wing family, Mandelblit is an Orthodox Jew and has six children.

He was nominated as attorney general by Netanyahu in 2016, and could become responsible for bringing down the country's longest-serving premier.

Well respected and quietly influential, he served under Netanyahu as cabinet secretary until 2015, working alongside the premier on a daily basis.

Before stepping into government roles, he was a senior lawyer for the Israeli army.

In 2004, he was named as chief military advocate general and promoted to general five years later.

In that strategic post, he was criticised by right-wingers for conducting investigations against Israeli soldiers suspected of abuses during a 2008-9 war in Gaza.

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Israel ’ s attorney general on Thursday formally charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a series of corruption cases, throwing the country’s paralyzed political system into Capping a three-year investigation, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit charged Netanyahu with fraud, breach of trust

Israel ' s attorney general says he is taking steps to indict Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu , shown here earlier this month, on corruption charges. Israeli police recommended months ago that Netanyahu be indicted for all three sets of allegations. First, he's facing a possible breach of trust and

In 2014, after he had left the army, he was implicated in the so-called Harpaz affair, named after an officer convicted of producing false documents to influence the appointment of the army's chief of staff.

The investigation into Mandelblit was dropped, with no indictment brought.

- Target of anger -

Mandelblit has faced a near impossible challenge as attorney general.

The role stipulates that he represent the government in all legal cases and work alongside Netanyahu.

Yet shortly after the attorney general took office, the Israeli police detailed their suspicions over three cases, the most serious of which involves Netanyahu allegedly offering to change regulatory policies in exchange for favourable coverage from a media outlet.

He therefore faced the task of deciding whether or not to charge his "boss."

The case has made him a target of anger for many Netanyahu supporters.

Announcing his much anticipated decision Thursday, Mandelblit said it was a "hard and sad day" for Israel to indict a leader.

"The citizens of Israel, all of us, and myself, look up to the elected officials, and first and foremost to the prime minister," Mandelblit said.

"Law enforcement is not a choice. It is not a matter of right or left. It's not a matter of politics."

Refusing to answer questions or give interviews, Mandelblit remains an enigma for many commentators who speculate on his political inclinations.

But after being thrust into the spotlight, the world is now aware that the unassuming figure has become one of Israel's most important decision makers.

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Thousands rally in support of Israel's Netanyahu after graft indictment .
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