Mandelblit Ends Debate With Netanyahu, Finalizes COI Agreement
Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Monday announced he had presented Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with a “final” conflict-of-interests agreement, which the attorney general considers to be official and already in effect, regardless of the prime minister’s accession. The contract, which is intended to prevent Netanyahu from intervening in the Justice and Public Security ministries while standing trial for corruption charges, was tossed back and forth by the prime minister’s legal team and the attorney general’s office for the past year. Mandelblit mostly rejected Netanyahu’s claims that the agreement was draconian and too broad, though some requests, such as the right to discuss appointments of judges who have no direct influence on his case, were granted. Netanyahu’s trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust will enter its witness hearing phase in January, and as per Monday’s final conflict-of-interests order, the prime minister will be barred from handling any appointments or bills regarding the police or the judicial system for the duration.