No legal obstacle to PM Benjamin Netanyahu forming government

No legal obstacle to PM Benjamin Netanyahu forming government

Jerusalem: Israel Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit said that there was no legal obstacle to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forming and leading the next government despite the criminal charges against him, the media reported.

Mandelblit made the remarks in an opinion submitted on Thursday to the High Court of Justice as a response to a petition that will be heard on Sunday in front of an expanded panel of 11 judges, The Times of Israel newspaper reported.

"Despite the significant difficulties that arise in this matter, they do not constitute grounds for judicial intervention," the newspaper quoted Mandelblit as saying in the opinion with regard to the bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges that he himself in January filed against Netanyahu in three cases.

Under the terms of the coalition deal between Netanyahu's ruling Likud and his rival Benny Gantz's Blue and White party, if the court disqualifies Netanyahu as Prime Minister in the first six months of the new coalition's lifespan, there will be new elections.

Mandelblit's opinion was part of discussions held at the Supreme Court over a series of petitions submitted by anti-corruption groups and high-profile public figures from the academy, high-tech, and the security system, including two former Shin Bet security service chiefs, reports Xinhua news agency. (IANS)

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