Chief Justice Esther Hayout will head a three-judge panel hearing petitions against PM Binyamin Netanyahu forming a government while under indictment for graft. The hearing has been set for Dec. 31. Her fellow-panelists are Hanan Meltzer and Uzi Fogelman. Attorney General Avihai Mendelblit is required to submit an opinion on the issue 48 hours before the hearing. The AG has already noted that the law does not bar a prime minister or Knesset Member from serving in their elected capacity while under criminal indictment. or even on trial. Netanyahu has pledged to quit office if a court of law pronounces him absolutely guilty. No date has been set for his trial. Nonetheless, the high court is responding to a petition for a hearing on the case.