Draft bill does not apply to criminal probes in Netanyahu suspect

FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during an event by his Likud Party to show support for its leader in Tel Aviv Israel August 9, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo
Vastavam web: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that a draft bill that sets limits on police investigators should be revised so it does not apply to criminal probes in which he is a suspect.Critics say the bill is an attempt to protect Netanyahu and keep the public in the dark regarding ongoing investigations in which he is a suspect, but its supporters said it is intended to protect suspects’ legal rights and reputations.
Some 20,000 Israelis demonstrated against the bill in Tel Aviv on Saturday and, as public pressure mounted, support among coalition members for the bill began to wane on Sunday, a day before parliament was expected to ratify it.With ratification of the legislation delayed, he said he had told the bill’s proponent, David Amsalem, a lawmaker from his own right-wing Likud party, that it had become a “political battering ram against the government.”
But in justifying the legislation, Netanyahu said: “The bill is intended to prevent publication of police recommendations which would leave a cloud over innocent people, something that happens every day.”But, if charged, he would come under heavy pressure to resign or he could call an election to test whether he still has a mandate to govern.Netanyahu has in the past said he had no interest in promoting personal legislation but he also did not order the bill’s sponsors, Amsalem, and David Bitan, another Likud confidant, to withdraw it.