An Israeli lawmaker proposed a law prohibiting investigations against the prime minister
Mar 14, 2023
Jerusalem [Israel], March 14:Israeli MP David Amsalem submitted today to the parliament (Knesset) his version of the so-called "French law", which prohibits the police from investigating the prime minister in office accused of corruption.
The move is widely seen as an attempt to protect Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is on trial on three counts of corruption, according to Israeli media.
For now, however, it is not clear whether the law will be able to be applied retroactively if it is adopted.
The bill introduced today is similar to one Amsalem introduced several years ago to bar the attorney general from investigating the prime minister unless the allegations are related to sexual, violent, security or drug offenses.
"The prime minister of Israel is one of the most complex positions. He has to make fateful decisions that affect the entire population, including diplomatic, security, economic and social. As such, he must be free to fully focus on that," said Amsalem of the conservative Netanyahu the Likud party.
Netanyahu is on trial for fraud, breach of trust and bribery, and he denies any wrongdoing and claims the charges were fabricated by police and the state prosecutor's office.
The new Netanyahu government, the most right-wing in Israel's history, is implementing a judicial reform plan, and the "French law" is the latest step toward strengthening the executive branch and weakening the Supreme Court.
The reform plan has sparked mass protests across Israel, with half a million people taking part last Saturday, the tenth in a row, according to organizers.
Opponents of the reform warn that the delicate system of checks and balances will be violated and power will be concentrated in the hands of the ruling majority in the Knesset, according to AP.
A parliamentary committee today approved a bill that will allow only parliament to declare a prime minister unfit to rule for physical or mental reasons. Such a measure would require the approval of three-quarters of governments, and could be overridden by the prime minister.
Based on the existing law, the Israeli leader can be removed under other conditions.
Netanyahu, who returned to power at the end of last year after the fifth election in less than four years, today criticized the media, which he called left-wing and biased and accused them of inciting anger against the reform.
Meanwhile, opposition leaders have announced that they will boycott the final vote on judicial reform.
Source: Beta News Agency