JERUSALEM—Israels attorney general said Nov. 25 that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu isnt required to leave office following his indictment on corruption charges, giving a small boost to the embattled leader.
Avichai Mandelblit said in a statement that Netanyahu can remain interim prime minister, just days after serving him with charges of fraud, breach of trust, and bribery.
Netanyahu faces calls from his opponents to step down following the indictment. Mandelblits opinion confirmed what had been a consensus legal view, that an indicted prime minister may remain in office while fighting criminal charges.
Israeli law requires other public officials, including Cabinet ministers, to resign if charged with a crime. But it doesnt explicitly state that a prime minister has to leave office in those circumstances.
Netanyahu is the first-ever sitting prime minister to be charged with a crime.
The attorney general didnt weigh in on whether Netanyahu could keep his other ministerial positions while under indictment. Netanyahu also holds the agriculture, labor and welfare, health, and Diaspora affairs portfolios.
Netanyahu, Israels longest-serving prime minister, has dismissed the charges as an “attempted coup” and refused to resign. He says he will fight the charges from the prime ministers office.
The indictment comes at a delicate time following the failure by both Netanyahu and his chief rival, former military chief Benny Gantz, to secure a parliamentary majority and form a new government.
Israel has held two parliamentary elections this year—in April and in September—both of which resulted in political deadlock, with neither Netanyahu nor Gantz capable of mustering Read More – Source