Netanyahu Ally Seeks Probe of Justice Institutions

(Bloomberg) --

Israel’s outgoing justice minister is considering investigating the offices that are responsible for the graft charges against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who’s scheduled to go on trial this month.

The offices of the state prosecutor and attorney general -- whose yearslong investigation into Netanyahu’s alleged corruption culminated in indictments in November -- are riddled with “conflicts of interests” and “alien motives” that prevent a full accounting of its behavior, Netanyahu ally Amir Ohana said in a Facebook post over the weekend.

Ohana said he will ask State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman on Sunday to look into an Israeli media report that former state prosecutor Shai Nitzan illegally accessed his work computer after recently leaving office, a charge Nitzan denies. If Engelman refuses, Ohana said he will consider launching a government review committee as one of his last acts as minister.

“Anyone with eyes in his head can see the unprecedented decline in public trust in the state prosecutor’s office and the attorney general’s office, and only those who aren’t troubled by this can ignore it,” Ohana wrote on Facebook on Saturday. He’s been justice minister for less than a year.

Ohana’s critique of Israel’s justice system echoes Netanyahu’s assertions that the accusations are baseless and a plot by opponents of his nationalist agenda to unseat him through the courts after failing to do so at the ballot box. Netanyahu’s joint administration with former military chief Benny Gantz is due to be sworn in on Wednesday -- 11 days before his trial is scheduled to begin.

Ohana already delayed the start of the trial by more than two months, citing the coronavirus as he put the courts on an emergency footing in March.

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