JERUSALEM, March 5 (AP) – Israeli cabinet ministers introduced a bill Sunday that would allow Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to keep a large donation he received from relatives to pay for his efforts as he fights corruption allegations. legal fees.
The bill is part of a sweeping overhaul of Israel’s legal system proposed by Netanyahu’s new government. The plan has sparked more than two months of violent protests in Israel, the largest in years.
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For nearly three years, Netanyahu has been on trial for fraud, breach of trust and bribery, among other charges. He has denied wrongdoing and said the allegations were part of a “witch hunt” orchestrated by a biased media, law enforcement and judicial system.
Last year, Israel’s high court ordered Netanyahu to reimburse about $270,000 in legal fees paid by his late cousin for him and his wife Sara.
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On Sunday, a ministerial legislative committee approved a bill that would allow public officials to accept donations for legal or medical expenses, despite strong objections from the country’s attorney general that it would foster corruption.
A committee of Israel’s Knesset, the Knesset, has also proposed bills to limit the Supreme Court’s judicial review powers and give the Knesset the power to overturn high court rulings.
Allies of Netanyahu say the changes are necessary to reduce the power of unelected judges. But critics say they would remove checks and balances, concentrate power in the hands of the ruling majority and weaken the Supreme Court.
The bills will now go to parliament for the first of three votes needed to pass into law. (Associated Press)
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