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Israel’s AG complains to police about threats, harassment

May 13, 2020 GMT
FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2020, file, photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting, in Jerusalem. Several thousand Israelis have demonstrated Saturday, April 25, 2020 against a unity government deal reached last week that leaves Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in power as he prepares to go on trial for corruption charges. The protesters say the unity government agreement “crushes democracy” and is meant to rescue Netanyahu from his legal troubles. (Gali Tibbon/Pool via AP, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2020, file, photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting, in Jerusalem. Several thousand Israelis have demonstrated Saturday, April 25, 2020 against a unity government deal reached last week that leaves Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in power as he prepares to go on trial for corruption charges. The protesters say the unity government agreement “crushes democracy” and is meant to rescue Netanyahu from his legal troubles. (Gali Tibbon/Pool via AP, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2020, file, photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting, in Jerusalem. Several thousand Israelis have demonstrated Saturday, April 25, 2020 against a unity government deal reached last week that leaves Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in power as he prepares to go on trial for corruption charges. The protesters say the unity government agreement “crushes democracy” and is meant to rescue Netanyahu from his legal troubles. (Gali Tibbon/Pool via AP, File)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s attorney general has filed a police complaint over threats he said he has received over the past day, the Justice Ministry said Wednesday.

A statement from the ministry said Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit received threats in messages sent to his cellphone.

“These threats and harassment, which appear to have been coordinated, continued during all hours of the night and morning,” the statement said.

For months, Mandelblit has been the focus of a smear campaign by allies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They see the attorney general — a former Netanyahu Cabinet secretary who was hand-picked for his current post by the Israeli leader — as a driving force behind Netanyahu’s legal woes.

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The threats against Mandelblit come ahead of the start of Netanyahu’s corruption trial on May 24, where he will face charges of accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust over a series of scandals.

Netanyahu is accused of exchanging regulatory favors with media moguls for more palatable media coverage of himself and his family. He denies wrongdoing and he has frequently lashed out against what he sees as a hostile media and a biased justice system bent on ousting him.