Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Israeli MPs to discuss Netanyahu immunity




Israeli MPs to discuss Netanyahu immunity

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lodged an immunity request with parliament in January in a move critics said was aimed at delaying court proceedings until after the March 2 polls. Tsafrir Abayov/AFP

Israeli MPs to discuss Netanyahu immunity

Israeli lawmakers got the backing on Sunday of parliament’s legal adviser to debate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s immunity request, but the speaker may yet stand in the way.

Netanyahu has been charged in three separate corruption cases and his immunity request had been expected to delay his court appearance until after March 2 elections.

But his opponents have sought to kick-start the process and deny the prime minister immunity before polls, by getting approval to form the necessary parliamentary committees.

The Knesset’s legal adviser on Sunday issued his opinion that speaker Yuli Edelstein – a member of Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party – cannot stand in the way.

Legal adviser Eyal Yinon concluded “the speaker of the Knesset cannot prevent” the two committees being convened, according to a parliamentary statement.

Edelstein had sought to block the committees being formed and requested a legal opinion on whether he had the authority to do so.

The speaker on Sunday rejected Yinon’s advice, warning that convening the committees would be a “grave mistake”.

“We are just weeks ahead of elections, everybody knows that at such a time the house committee would become a jungle,” he said at a press conference.

Edelstein described the stalemate as “unprecedented”.

It was unclear whether lawmakers could forge ahead and form the parliamentary committees without his approval.

“I disagree with the Knesset legal adviser’s opinion,” he said.

“As far as it depends on me, I will not lend a hand in turning the committee to a place of cheap election propaganda,” Edelstein added.

The legal opinion followed a request to launch the process by parties representing 65 lawmakers – a majority of the 120 Knesset members – in favour of denying Netanyahu immunity.

The centrist Blue and White alliance, which holds 33 seats, proceeded on Sunday with a bid to force the issue.

The alliance’s Avi Nissenkorn chairs a key committee which in turn can convene the crucial House Committee to deal with the immunity request.

“I have asked … Nissenkorn to convene the Arrangements Committee as soon as possible and to establish the House Committee to debate Netanyahu’s request,” Blue and White leader Benny Gantz said in a statement.

MOST VIEWED

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old

  • Ministry set to reopen 20 schools in August

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will allow 20 high-safety-standards schools to reopen next month despite new cases of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha wrote in a Telegram message on Wednesday that the schools are in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.