Mazuz won't order PM to take temporary leave

Decision made in response to letter by NGO requesting that PM be suspended until investigations over.

October 22, 2007 21:38
1 minute read.
Mazuz won't order PM to take temporary leave

Olmert happy 224.88. (photo credit: AP [file])

Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz refused on Monday to force Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to take a temporary leave from office because of the criminal investigations he is facing, arguing that the question was a matter for the public decide. In response to a letter sent last week by the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel on the issue, Mazuz wrote, "These are matters for the prime minister himself to decide and for clarification in the public realm, rather than a legal question." In his letter to Mazuz, attorney Yitzhak Bam, the Forum legal adviser, wrote it was unreasonable for Olmert to remain in office while undergoing four criminal investigations because "he cannot devote all his time and energy to conduct the matters of state." Bam added that the fact that he remained in office while undergoing so many investigations "does not increase, to say the least, public confidence in the governing system and the government. It constitutes lack of national responsibility to continue to hold the reins of government," wrote Bam. Bam added that Mazuz should at least bar Olmert from involvement in appointments in the economic and law enforcement spheres, including the appointment of a new state attorney. Regarding these requests, Mazuz wrote, "we are aware of these issues and they will be dealt with at the proper time."

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