Israeli opposition slams ‘corrupt’ new legislation
The Knesset (Israel's parliament) has approved a controversial "Recommendations Law", which critics say will hinder the ability of police to investigate suspected wrongdoing.
The legislation was approved late Wednesday by a vote of 59 to 45 in a tumultuous assembly session in which opposition MPs said the law was intended to shield public officials from police scrutiny.
Proposed by David Amsalem, an MP for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party, the "Recommendations Law" will prohibit police from recommending whether the attorney-general should indict suspects following criminal investigations.
Notably, the legislation was approved amid two separate corruption probes -- which remain ongoing -- in which Netanyahu has been named as a suspect.
The new law will not apply to investigations currently underway, including those involving Netanyahu.
Nevertheless, the Israeli opposition says the legislation is meant to weaken the judicial authorities and limit the ability of police to investigate suspected crimes.
On Thursday morning, the opposition Yeish Atid party filed an appeal against the law with Israel's High Court of Justice.
Speaking to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Yesh Atid MP Karine Elharrar, who lodged the appeal, described the law as "one of the most corrupt" pieces of legislation to be pushed by Israel's current governing coalition.
The law is meant "solely to protect the prime minister from investigations against him," Elharrar told the newspaper.