Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein 370 (R).
(photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
Two NGOs called on Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein to step down on Wednesday
following Avigdor Liberman’s acquittal on charges of fraud and breach of public
In explaining the reasons behind their demand, the NGOs – the
Legal Forum for Israel, and Ometz, the Movement for Quality Government in Israel
– cited the 17 years of investigations that had plagued Liberman without a
conviction, and the fact that Weinstein had gotten heavily behind the current
case, with little to show for it.
Meanwhile, opposition lawmakers called
for an appeal and bashed Weinstein’s behavior from the opposite perspective,
saying he had been too slow to approve filing the indictment against Liberman in
this case and too timid in deciding in late 2012 to close the larger
money-laundering case against the former foreign minister.
with all my heart that the judges in Jerusalem did their job and made a decision
based on the proof they have, but [we cannot have a situation in which] a person
disrupts an investigation abroad, an investigation that cost millions, and does
not tell anyone that his ally, whom he promoted, did the same,” said opposition
leader Shelly Yacimovich (Labor).
Yacimovich declared that corruption was
not less problematic just because it was not criminal, and that Liberman was a
“I call on the attorney-general to instruct the state
attorney to appeal,” she added. “We cannot let such a serious issue go without
making sure to turn over every stone. The people who suffered here are the
police, the State Attorney’s Office and the courts that [Liberman] tortured for
Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On also said she respected the
court’s decision, but that Weinstein’s behavior should be examined, since he had
closed the other, more serious corruption case against Liberman.
Justice Ministry issued a short press release late Wednesday, saying Weinstein’s
decision to file the indictment in the current case had the backing of the
entire prosecutorial team and that, win or lose, it was the prosecution’s job to
bring cases in which it believed there was a reasonable prospect for conviction.