Israeli attorney general slams PM immunity bill

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-25 01:51:12|Editor: yan
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JERUSALEM, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- In an unusual move, Israel's attorney general harshly criticized Tuesday a bill pushed forward by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's party that aims at protecting incumbent premiers from criminal investigations.

"The bill to ban criminal investigations of a prime minister during his term in office is a real assault on the rule of law," Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit told a conference of a conservative think tank in Jerusalem.

The bill would turn the Premiership into a "refuge" for criminals, Mandelblit said, adding that the very fact that one has to explain why the bill is wrong was "unacceptable."

The bill, pushed forward by the Likud ruling party, has been stirring the Israeli political arena. On Monday, Chairman of the Likud faction David Bitan, who is a lawmaker and a close ally of Netanyahu, told local media that if the coalition would not back the bill, "we will dissolve the government and go for new elections."

The bill was initiated by David Amsalem, a lawmaker with the Likud. It is expected to be brought for discussion in the government in the next few weeks. If the ministers would vote in favor of the bill, it will have to pass three more full rounds of votes in the parliament before it becomes a law.

The new legislation comes as Netanyahu is entangled in two criminal investigations, involving suspicions of corruption, fraud, and breach of trust.