Zvi Bar 370.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The state asked the Tel Aviv District Court on Monday to reject a request by
Ramat Gan Mayor Zvi Bar to end his case before going to trial.
June, Bar, who has served as mayor for 24 years, filed a denial of the charges
against him, and made a number of pre-trial claims to try to torpedo the case
entirely. Bar is accused of bribery, fraud and other charges.
pre-trial claims, Bar said his case should be thrown out because Attorney-
General Yehuda Weinstein did not personally oversee his pre-trial hearing with
In some cases, such as those involving public officials,
the prosecution gives the defense a pre-trial hearing to try to convince it to
drop the case before filing an indictment. Bar received this hearing, but it was
presided over by the state’s head prosecutor, Moshe Lador, who is Weinstein’s
No. 2 on prosecutorial decisions, and not Weinstein himself.
complained that the charges he defended at the pre-trial hearing were different
than those the prosecution included in the indictment, and therefore the the
state should have given him another hearing before filing the
The state responded that in 2004, former attorney-general
Menahem Mazuz delegated authority for presiding over the prosecution’s pre-trial
hearings to the head prosecutor.
While Bar claimed this delegation of
authority was limited to Mazuz’s term, the state said that an attorney-general’s
delegation of authority is permanent until revoked and is connected to the
office of the attorney-general, regardless of whether the individual filling the
role changes. Since the delegation of authority for Lador to preside over the
hearings was never revoked, Lador had authority to preside and Bar’s rights were
The state did not view as valid Bar’s argument that he
should get special treatment by having Weinstein preside over the
Next, the state said there were no major changes in the charges
presented to Bar before the indictment versus in the indictment itself. The
essence of the case, the charge for bribery, has remained the same, and all that
was added was more detail, said the state.
Finally, the state said the
trial must go forward on four of the five charges no matter what the court rules
on Bar’s arguments, stating that the arguments only refer to the bribery charge
and mostly not to the other four charges.
If the court accepts the
state’s arguments, the trial will go forward. If the court accepts Bar’s
arguments, some or all of the charges could be dropped, though it appeared
unlikely that all would be dismissed.