Female judge in sex-for-judgeship scandal named as Eti Karif

High Court lifts gag order on judge, but not on other defendant.

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March 14, 2019 00:24
2 minute read.
Efi Naveh appears in court, January 16th, 2019

Efi Naveh appears in court, January 16th, 2019. (photo credit: REUVEN CASTRO)

 
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The female magistrate’s court judge suspect in the “sex-for-judgeship” scandal was named on Wednesday as Netanya court judge Eti Karif.

Her name was revealed when the High Court of Justice lifted the gag order on her identity, based on a petition by Haaretz.

The High Court ruled that the gag order could be lifted on her identity since the police no longer opposed identifying her, though it maintained the gag order in the case of another suspect in the scandal, on the basis that the suspect is a private citizen.

Karif had already announced on her own initiative that she would take indefinite leave from the bench in January.

 A spokeswoman for the courts could neither confirm nor deny in January whether the indefinite leave meant that the judge, whose name was under gag order, was finished in the judiciary.

Also in January, Efi Nave resigned as Israel Bar Association president in the wake of the “Sex for Judgeships" Affair, for which he is under criminal investigation.

At the time, Lahav 433 – The National Crime Unit questioned Nave and two other suspects, one of whom was Karif, for involvement in a scheme of promoting judicial candidates in exchange for sexual favors.

Nave is suspected of having sexual relationships with Karif and with a female lawyer whose husband is a magistrate’s court judge and was seeking promotion to become a district judge.

In addition, in January Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, interviewed on Channel 12 about the Nave saga, defended herself against calls for her resignation due to her political alliance with Nave in the selection of judges.


Shaked lashed out at her critics, claiming that in a prior scandal involving a Israel Bar Association official who had formed an alliance with judges on the Judicial Selection Committee, no one called for the judges to resign because of their association with the Bar official.

She said that she should not be attacked either, and was only being attacked because left-wing officials are upset over her success at appointing conservative justices to the Supreme Court.

Overall, she said that she trusts the police to find the truth at the heart of the case, and that even if Nave committed criminal acts, his actions should not put in a negative light the hundreds of proper judicial appointments that she, six Supreme Court justices and other officials made.

Shaked, Supreme Court President Esther Hayut and a number of other prominent members of the Judicial Selection Committee were expected to give testimony to police as fact witnesses at some point.

A number of legal issues arose around the case, including whether law enforcement will be allowed to use evidence from Nave’s telephone against him, as that evidence may have been acquired illegally.

At the time, Nave’s lawyer Boaz Ben Tzur presented Nave’s narrative which deemphasized the specifics of his relationships with the two women, while emphasizing that, regardless of the relationships, he was not involved in issues relating to the judges’ advancement.

Police at a January hearing replied that Nave essentially controlled two members of the Judicial Selection Committee who represented the Bar, and he may have had a strong influence on others.

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