Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday that he will “have difficulty” in defending the government’s decision to appoint Shas leader Aryeh Deri to a ministerial position.
Deri, who is due to assume the economic affairs portfolio in the fourth Netanyahu administration, served time in prison for a bribery conviction, a crime he committed during his tenure as interior minister. His return to government has prompted anti-corruption groups to petition the High Court of Justice, claiming that Deri’s appointment violates norms and harms the public trust.
Nonetheless, Weinstein’s legal opinion posits that there is no legal impediment to handing Deri ministerial responsibility. The contents of the attorney-general’s position were reported by Israel Radio.
In response, Shas, the ultra-Orthodox Sephardic movement, said it was “satisfied” with Weinstein’s position while noting that “the events that were being discussed took place 30 years ago.”