Israeli lawmakers pass controversial law to restrict police powers

By Susan McFarland  |  Dec. 28, 2017 at 10:38 AM
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Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Israeli lawmakers on Thursday passed a new law that supporters say limits police powers and protects innocent suspects -- while opponents argue it mainly exists to shield high-profile public figures from prosecution.

The Police Recommendations Bill passed by five votes in the Knesset Thursday, after two days of debate.

The law prevents police, after investigations of public officials and other high-profile figures, from recommending whether there is enough evidence to file an indictment.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the bill for protecting the innocent, while critics argue it's a measure to protect the prime minister, who is presently the subject of two corruption investigations himself.

The law, however, will not apply to the corruption cases against Netanyahu.

The Yesh Atid Party and the Movement for Quality Government filed a petition against the law.

Yesh Atid Party's Karine Elharrar said the law is corrupt, and is "born in sin, a personal law whose entire goal is to protect the prime minister from his investigations, and its whole purpose is to intimidate the police and prosecution."

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked criticized the opposition party for disrespecting the legislative body, saying the moved humiliates Israel's legislative body.

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