• Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

High Court Declines to Hear Petition for Disqualifying Netanyahu

Jan 27, 2023

A democracy watchdog had filed a petition this week with the High Court of Justice for disqualifying Benjamin Netanyahu as the Prime Minister of Israel.

However, the High Court of Justice rejected the petition submitted for declaring Netanyahu as unfit for holding office.

The petition

On Wednesday, the petition in question had been filed by the Israeli Democracy Guard and it had called on the High Court justices for instructing the Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara and the government to declare that Netanyahu could not fulfill his premier duties.

The organization argued that considering that Benjamin Netanyahu was embroiled in a criminal trial, he was unfit to be the prime minister.

It said that his position created a conflict of interest and his actions for promoting a regime coup also showed the same.

Unsurprisingly, the petition was declined on Thursday by the justices and they said that other procedures on the issue had to be exhausted first.

The Israeli Democracy Guard had said in its petition that there was a real and serious concern about a direction connection between Netanyahu’s criminal trial and the judicial overhaul planned by the government.

It said that the primary aim of the plan was to help the current prime minister in avoiding prosecution in his criminal trial.

Conflict of interest

The organization filed the petition a week after Aryeh Deri, the Shas head, had been declared unfit to be minister by the High Court.

There had been reports that the attorney general had explored the idea of asking Netanyahu to take a leave of absence because of a conflict of interest, but the AG denied doing so.

There are currently three cases against Benjamin Netanyahu, which are named 1000, 2000 and 4000 and charges include bribery, breach of trust and fraud.

The accusations against the premier include influencing media coverage improperly and taking luxury gifts from two billionaires for offering quid pro quo benefits.

All wrongdoing has been denied by Netanyahu. He had been indicted in November 2019 and had had to relinquish all ministerial positions.

The only exception was the position of Prime Minister, as it is the precedent set by the High Court.

The AG

Baharav-Miara had denied reports on Monday about her exploring the possibility of ordering the premier to take a leave of absence.

She had told the High Court last week that there are conflicts of interest rules that bound Netanyahu from making judicial and senior law enforcement appointments.

Likewise, any legislative matters that could have an impact on his ongoing trial are also areas that he cannot get involved in.

The new government headed by Netanyahu is in the process of overhauling the justice system in Israel and the proposals outlined are aimed at weakening the judiciary, which has resulted in country-wide protests.

On Monday, coalition leaders had warned the attorney general that any attempt to infringe on Netanyahu’s leadership role, or his removal from office on a permanent or temporary basis would be considered a coup.

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