Netanyahu in Knesset alone 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Knesset legal adviser Eyal Inon on Thursday night disqualified a vote held the
day before during an emergency session of the Knesset’s State Control Committee
to grant State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss special authority to probe the
Coalition members said they had not been properly
notified of the last-minute meeting and vote, which was attended by only three
MKs, all from Kadima.
The vote had authorized Lindenstrauss’s senior aide
on corruption, Nahum Levi, to probe allegations that Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu used donor money to fund costly personal trips for himself and his
family before taking office.
Before Inon disqualified the vote,
Lindenstrauss announced that his office would be launching an official inquiry
into the affair with or without the special jurisdiction he had sought from the
Inon emphasized that there had been no flaws in the vote
itself, adding that the committee’s conclusions would be delayed until a second
vote could be held. First, he said, committee members will have to vote on
whether a second vote should be held – a vote that the coalition will win, as it
holds the majority on the committee.
“I welcome the legal adviser’s
decision, which officially affirmed the complete legitimacy of the procedure
that I held,” responded committee chairman Yoel Hasson (Kadima). “I hope that
all of the MKs who complained loudly against the procedure will take back all of
their defamations, stand up before the public and show them, through their vote,
that they support granting all the necessary authority to the state comptroller
in his struggle against public corruption.”
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin
had asked Inon to probe Hasson’s actions after coalition MKs complained both to
him and to the house’s Ethics Committee that they had not received ample notice
of the meeting and had not been informed about the subject
According to Rivlin, Hasson did not inform him of the topic when
the committee chairman sought permission to hold the meeting during the plenum
debate on the Sheshinski Law.
Any committee meeting scheduled while the
plenum is in session must receive special permission from the
Hasson, in response, emphasized that he had consulted with the
committee’s legal adviser regarding its authority, and that it had been Rivlin
who, at 1:40 p.m., approved the meeting on condition that it not be held after
2:30 p.m. He added that the vote was held 15 minutes into the session, and that
it had been the state comptroller himself who requested the vote.
further said that “the committee was convened in coordination with the Knesset
speaker after we showed him a letter from the state comptroller to the committee
All of the committee members received notice of the meeting
detailing the comptroller’s request, and if they had studied the information
placed before them, they would have nothing to complain about – it was all on
the table before the speaker and the committee members.”
Hotovely (Likud), one of the coalition members on the committee, filed an
official complaint against Hasson Thursday with the Knesset’s Ethics Committee,
arguing that he had acted improperly in failing to appropriately inform
coalition members of the vote.